Over the past year, remote work has gone from an emerging trend to the status quo for many organizations, as entire workforces began working from the safety of their homes--virtually overnight--at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Work-from-Hotel: The Latest
This trend of working from anywhere presents a powerful, long-term opportunity for hotels to appeal to a new audience segment that has emerged from the pandemic and differentiate themselves from home-sharing sites like Airbnb and Vrbo. Major hotel chains like Hilton and Hyatt have already implemented work-from-hotel (WFH) programs that invite digital nomads to take a “workcation” at their hotel. Some hotels also offer day-only packages for professionals who need a quiet office for the day and don’t plan to stay the night.
5 Tips for Creating a Successful Work-from-Hotel Program
1. Provide Quiet, Well-Equipped Workspaces
The two staples of remote work are a quiet workspace and a reliable high-speed internet connection that supports video calls. To attract digital nomad workers, consider setting up dedicated work-from-hotel rooms equipped with all of the office essentials in a quiet, low-traffic area. For example, Marriott gives work-from-hotel guests a quiet room with a desk, easily accessible power outlets, private bathroom, water bottle, and, depending on the property, access to faxing, scanning, and printing equipment.
Also, some hotels have modified certain rooms for day-only stays by removing bedroom furniture to make units feel more like a proper office space (Hotel Business). Furthermore, complimentary high-speed internet access and IT support are excellent ways for hotels to differentiate from Airbnb and Vrbo sites. It takes significantly more effort for guests to find a property with adequate Wi-Fi speeds to support remote work.
2. Give Guests Flexible Options
Remote workers value the flexibility and freedom to work on their own terms, and hotels can cater to this by offering various packages for guests to choose from. For example, Hyatt’s Work From Hyatt offerings include three distinct programs with multiple benefits depending on the length of stay, including Office for the Day (1 day, no overnight), Extended Stays (5+ night stay), and The Great Relocate (29+ night stay). Meanwhile, Marriott Work Anywhere lets guests choose from one of three options:
- Day Pass for day-only office for up to 12 hours (6 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
- Stay Pass for multiple-night stays with early check-in and late check-out to accommodate the workday better, and
- Play Pass for a true “work-ation” with supervised kid activities and other amenities so workers can bring their families along with them.
3. Offer Value-Add Perks for Extended Work Stays
Remote worker guests value different perks and incentives than traditional hotel guests, especially those planning extended work-from-hotel stays. Guests that want to live and work in a new place for weeks and months at a time are looking both for the comforts of home and the functionality of an office space. Consider how to meet both of these requirements as you build your work-from-hotel packages. For example, Hyatt’s The Great Relocate package, intended for stays of at least 29 days, offers perks like flexible housekeeping services to avoid disrupting the workday, complimentary board meeting room usage, IT support for technical issues, and steep discounts on food, beverages, and laundry services.
Work-from-hotel is an attractive solution to escape the monotony of work from home, but concern for health and safety is still top-of-mind for remote workers. Hotels that offer work-from-hotel packages must also commit to clean, healthy facilities to gain travelers’ trust.
This is an area where a commercial robot vacuum like Whiz, from SoftBank Robotics, can make it easier to deliver the level of cleanliness remote work travelers require. Whiz offloads mundane, repetitive cleaning tasks like vacuuming hallways and common areas to allow staff to focus on the more detailed cleaning guests now demand. Even more importantly, Whiz provides 50% cleaner floors and kicks up eight times less of the airborne dust and allergens than manual vacuuming while also promoting social distancing.
5. Communicate the Value of Working from Your Hotel
Finally, attracting remote workers and differentiating from your competitors (including home sharing sites) requires clear communication about the value of working at your establishment--whether your guests prefer to work poolside or in a quiet office space. Create dedicated work-from-hotel landing pages on your hotel website, highlighting the unique benefits your hotel can offer for digital nomads. Plus, address health and safety questions upfront by sharing details about your cleaning and safety protocols prominently on your website, as well as via signs throughout your facility.
Tools for a Safer, Healthier Work-from-Hotel Environment
Creating a safe, healthy, and productive workplace is a powerful tool for hotels to expand their customer base during the pandemic and beyond. Contact SoftBank Robotics to learn how autonomous cleaning technology can bring your hotel’s health and safety to the next level.