Hotels attempting to attract mobile workers

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hotels attempting to attract mobile workers

In today's digital society, the rules of where and when people work rarely apply. Telecommuting has become commonplace at many organizations, and coffee shops all over the country are de facto offices for people working on laptops. As the landscape of the business travel sector continues to shift, many chain hotels are trying to adapt and capitalize on these trends by offering work spaces as well as traditional rooms, reports CNN.

Hotdesking 2.0
In the late 2000s, a concept known as "hotdesking" - the practice of renting small sections of offices on a temporary basis - became popular, especially with lean startup businesses. Today, modern workers expect more from their corporate suites at chain hotels, as remaining productive while traveling is essential. Some chains are experimenting with a modification of the hotdesking concept by offering meeting spaces in their properties.

The news source reports that one large hotelier in the U.S. recently implemented a service where workers can rent small meeting spaces in 35 properties across the country for $50 per hour. The move is designed to appeal to professionals who may be staying in the hotel on business, and to facilitate meetings on the go.

"You'd see a group of consultants hovering over a laptop, trying to prepare for a presentation, or else people had interviews, and the lobby wasn't providing enough privacy for the topic they were discussing," Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader of a major hotel chain in the U.S., told the news source.

Passing fads
Although some business travelers may find these services convenient, it remains to be seen whether the transition hoteliers are hoping for will transpire. While meeting spaces in chain hotels may be a quick and easy way for professionals to collaborate when working remotely, it does not address the increasing cost of hotel rooms observed around the country.

According to the Daily Mail, hotel rates are rising around the world, particularly in emerging international markets such as Russia. Global business hubs like Paris, Moscow and Stockholm are proving expensive for executives and tourists alike, and average nightly rates show little sign of decreasing in the near future. As such, alternatives to chain hotels such as serviced apartments and corporate housing are likely to remain popular with professionals seeking quality accommodations at competitive rates.