By Annie Davidson, Director of Luxury Accounts. Published 4th Quarter 2022 in Luxury Hoteliers Magazine.
As the WFH trend has evolved from strictly working at home to include “working from hotel”, we’ve seen trends develop among the guests that fall into the WFH category.
Among those working from your property, you’ll find the true digital nomad, a once-a-month traveler to HQ, and someone who simply needs a change of scenery from their home office, often bringing their family with them.
What are these WFH guests looking for from their stay?
My team at Avendra analyzed spend data from among our luxury property clients to determine some trends in the WFH arena and have developed a profile of what the Work From Hotel guest is truly expecting from their stay.
Health and Wellness are a priority. Today’s business or WFH traveler wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road. For property managers, this means providing amenities that support fitness, healthy eating, and mindfulness.Creating flexible menu offerings based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients is a good start, and carrying over some of those items to your “grab and go” selections ensures your guests are eating on-site provisions rather than taking that business elsewhere. Featuring options like beverages with adaptogens*, upscaled “mocktails”, and plant-based foods in your dining services and in-room snacks will delight today’s health-conscience traveler.
Other WFH amenities in the health and wellness arena include in-room fitness offerings like yoga mats, resistance bands, and on-demand classes on television. Consider offering free access to mindfulness apps for guests to use at their leisure to ensure they can “check out” anywhere onsite. Offering free access to these apps or services will drive likeability to your brand. Complimentary access to wellness classes or downtime activities like meditation sessions or yoga on the lawn will allow the WFH traveler to check out of work mode but remain onsite.
Highly functional wireless workspaces can be guest rooms or larger co-working spaces, but a simple desk, chair, and lamp will no longer suffice. The WFH guest needs to work, comfortably. Providing spacious, ergonomic desks and chairs is critical to success in a long day at the “office.”Flat-screen Bluetooth-enabled TVs that can serve as large computer monitors are important, as is high-speed WIFI, a wireless mouse, a wireless keyboard, charging cables, and power strips. Having the additional supplies available to the guests is an opportunity to drive revenue through a rental system of office tools that most don’t travel with, if not complimentary.
Some properties offer concierge tech consultants to troubleshoot IT problems, which is helpful to continue to be the solution to guests’ challenges and an extra service level touchpoint. Additionally, consider providing branded office “keepsakes” like earbuds, padfolios, pens, and reusable, sustainable water bottles to allow the guest to think of the great experience they had at your property after their stay.
Meeting rooms of all sizes should be warm, inviting, and high-tech. Your guests should feel good about inviting their clients to meetings at your property. Providing creative, healthy meeting snacks and beverages, an excellent WIFI signal, and plenty of outlets is imperative to on-site meeting success, whether it’s a two-person impromptu meeting in your additional workspaces or a booked meeting in your traditional meeting rooms, making the meeting environment and time enjoyable is critical. Offering meeting-room provisions like complimentary flavored water & coffee or the upgrade of kombucha and cold brew coffees are great ways to welcome meeting guests and give your guests the tools to use your property rather than go anywhere else.
Providing those spaces we all need just to sit and brainstorm or solve problems will make your property a hit with WFH guests. One of our clients, Pendry Manhattan West, was recently recognized by Hemispheres magazine as one of the Best New Hotels of 2022 for remote workers. That distinction is due largely to the calming environment it provides, including a subtle color palette, cozy pillows and furnishings, warm, quiet spaces, and soft music; all of which offer the remote worker a brief respite and a place to recharge.CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE