The coronavirus has created an occupancy problem in hotels across the globe — business professionals traded their work travel for zoom meetings, and families are opting for socially-distanced single-family homes to facilitate summer road trips. Some hotel brands are filling the gap with a new concept: renting hotel rooms as offices for remote work.
This trend actually isn’t new but as with many trends, Covid-19 has accelerated its growth. Some people who’ve started working from home have been forced to use a space not originally designed for remote work. Small apartments in urban areas, a college student taking classes from home, or a small child without daycare — all things that can make working from home difficult.
Hotels need additional revenue, fast, and remote workers need a place away from home to do their work. Some brands are stepping up to fill the void.
Accor and Ascott to Capitalize on the Remote Working Trend
Accor is a worldwide hotel brand with most of its properties in Europe. They’ve been at the forefront of the push to support remote workers.
Accor has launched its Home Office offering across 250 hotels in the UK and 70 in Northern Europe. The company said that it will expand its offerings across Europe in the coming weeks.
“With millions of people adapting to new ways of working, we have been inspired to support this trend by offering a unique office experience, blending the need for quiet dedicated working spaces with all the convenience and amenities of a hotel,” said vice-president of marketing for Accor Hotels in Northern Europe, James Wheatcroft.
Rooms are available for single days, or five-day stays. Typically, renting the rooms as an office is less expensive than an overnight stay in the same room.
The Ascott is another hotel brand focused on this pivot. Their “Work in Residence” program is attempting to court remote workers to their properties. Currently, the hotel is offering 60 suites in more than 30 cities.
Other Brands Looking to Court Remote Workers
Zoku: Zoku is a hotel and co-working company based in Amsterdam. They’re currently renting out micro-apartments for €55 per day, with guests enjoying free Wifi, lunch, and drinks.
Wythe: Wythe is an independent New York hotel in Brooklyn — they’re partnering with co-working company Industrious to convert sections of the hotel into workspaces. These units are focused on small groups, and can support up to 4 workers. Prices start at $160 for a two-person office.
NoMo Soho: This New York hotel is offering rooms as private workspaces, and offers some more granularity in terms of length of stay. Workers can book for 4 hour sessions at $89, or 8 hour sessions at $149
Could hotels continue to use their rooms for remote work after the pandemic? It depends. Consider the rest of this year a test for the model as workers continue to work remotely. If it succeeds, or if remote workers continue to grow as a market, it’s possible that this trend has long-term possibilities.