Written By: Florencia Laber
Taking a work call by the Caribbean beach hearing the sound of the ocean and getting your tan on? How about at a French café listening to jazz and enjoying a croissant? Or maybe in the Swiss alps sipping on a hot chocolate by the fireplace? The options of where to work are now endless. With the Covid-19 pandemic, behaviors have shifted immensely to remote/hybrid working. This allows people to travel wherever they desire and fulfill their role in any destination around the world (as long as there is high-speed Wi-Fi, of course).
The digital nomad trend has been present for a while but increased tremendously in the past two years since people can take their laptops anywhere. Luckily, now in the 21st century, we live in a technology-centered world which allows for more flexibility and adaptability in the workplace. Currently, nine out of 10 businesses conduct work on a hybrid model which is leading people who work remotely to plan on traveling more and working from anywhere.
How is the hospitality industry affected by this trend?
Hotels in particular have been monetizing remote/hybrid work. In early 2020, hotel occupancy took a deep downward turn with millions of empty rooms around the world. Hotels noticed this challenge as an area for opportunity and came up with creative solutions for remote workers such as office for a day and extended stays. The pandemic has caused a shift in how people view and use hotels. Working from home can become redundant or distracting. From spending a few hours a day in a hotel room as an office or staying an extended period of time living in a hotel room, there are possibilities for all workers.
Instead of focusing on the traditional business client, hotels are moving to adapt to the new remote worker’s needs and interests.
So, what are specific hotels doing?
WorkSpaces by Hilton – “Remote working without the distractions.”
Rooms are available for daily use that provide the right environment for productivity. Hilton Honors members get special perks during their stay.
Work Anywhere with Marriott – “Work where the Wi-Fi is as strong as the coffee.”
This program offers a tranquil space with a day pass in featured destinations and additional benefits for Marriott Bonvoy members.
Work from Hyatt – “It won’t feel like work when you choose to work from Hyatt.”
There are various packages available from office for the day, one-night stay, extended stays of 5+ nights, or long-term stays of 29+ nights at various locations around the world.
citizenM Corporate Subscription
Guests pay a flat monthly fee and can stay three nights per month in any of the brand’s hotels around the world. Packages include breakfast, a welcome drink, three hours of meeting room usage, and unlimited “living room” use.
Accor Commute and Stay Connected – “Enjoy the best of both worlds.”
Allows professionals to balance home and work life. Gives guests a city to be based and work out of with flexible cancellation and greater discounts. Accor loyalty program members receive further discounts enhancing value.
The Paradox of Working Remotely
As we can see, hotels are bumping up their creativity to attract the new type of traveler: remote workers. They are being strategic in their approach to generate more revenue and increase occupancy during a time that the typical leisure or business guest may be skeptical or unable to travel as they did before. Working remotely is now quite commonplace and this shift has been advantageous for the hospitality industry. The digital nomad trend is here to stay in the long term and hotels can continue to benefit from innovative offers and packages.
This blog post tied for First Place in the Spring 2022 HFTP/MS Global Hospitality Business Graduate Student Blog Competition presented by the HFTP Foundation. Participants are students participating in the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business, a partnership between the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and EHL. The blog posts that received the top scores will be published on HFTP Connect through July 2022. Learn more at HFTP News.
Florencia Laber is a graduate student currently pursuing the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business program, which is in partnership of three schools: EHL, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and University of Houston.