Workspitality: why WiFi is essential for hotel diversification

Claudia Schoendorff
Mar 3, 2021 11:29:33 AM

In order to offer an even more complete package and meet the new needs of B2B customers, hoteliers are gradually moving towards new business models. With the main challenge being the remote aspects needed for work and conferences, quality and security of the network will define the success of hoteliers. As so, technological expertise has become an essential component for an accomplished diversification model.

The boom of connected workspaces

While life with Covid-19 imposed new practices on all professionals, some hoteliers are coping with their new reality and offering more and more solutions for  remote working and corporate events. 24% of people in the UK are working from home full time as the ONS reported back in October. With this increase comes the need for innovation as not everyone has an efficient and productive environment to work from home. Thankfully, the hospitality industry in the UK has adapted their offering to give customers safe alternatives for remote working.

coworking-workspitality

Here are some examples:

  • Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland has launched a new concept. They call it  '"home office', which allows customers to book their own hotel room, at a discounted rate, for an uninterrupted, premium remote working experience. Customers booking this service can reserve their "office" for nine hours with a check in from 9am and check out time of 6pm. Customers can also enjoy all the in-room amenities and comforts, including room service, as well as the hotel's public spaces, bars and restaurants.” 
  • Hotel group citizenM have shifted into offering a corporate subscription to their guests. This subscription will be a game changer as it creates a perfect work-sleep-meet-entertain hybrid. It can be a monthly subscription or a yearly one.  It offers: a hotel room as a workspace during the subscription period; 3 nights per month at any citizenM hotel worldwide; 3 hours of usage of meeting rooms per month at any citizenM hotel; a special discount of 15% to add more nights or meeting room hours; breakfast included every overnight stay; one welcome drink with every overnight stay. And of course, super fast WiFi included! 

  • The Accor group, a long-time Wifirst customer, which has been constantly innovating since the beginning of the crisis, has just announced that 1,200 connected workspaces will see the light of day in 2022 in the group's hotels through a partnership with Wojo (European coworking network). Every essential will be available in these new spaces: catering, furniture and of course WiFi! 

This type of initiative inevitably generates significant WiFi needs with a very precisely designed and secure Internet access. But it is also a real way for hoteliers to diversify, by offering different packages beyond their core business.

 

In-person, virtual, or hybrid events: are hotels ready to deliver?

It is clear that new technologies are the big winners in our new health reality. Between confinement and de-confinement, employees need to reconnect, both in-person and virtually,  to develop new strategies. Luxury hotel brand Belmond has launched a series of virtual programs on Belmond IGTV, titled Belmond Invitations, designed to bring their signature high-end experiences to the armchair traveler. The performances are curated in collaboration with some of the hotels'  ambassadors who specialise in niche cultural activities.

Of course, health protocols have been tightened and videoconferencing is an integral part of the 2021 conference. For example, the St Ermin's Hotel in London has partnered up with Showcase, an events production company, and installed a Live Studio in one of their meeting spaces that offers a green screen backdrop for any company to host a safe and personalised virtual or hybrid event. St Ermin’s offers the entire package, meaning: they host, stream, and deliver the event. 

Accor has also just announced ALL CONNECT, a new concept of hybrid meetings. This new offer will allow companies and organisers to plan physical meetings at the hotel, while ensuring remote interaction with multiple participants. These meetings will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform, to which participants will be able to connect and interact remotely. 

Under these conditions, collaboration, open-mindedness and creativity can be fully promoted through the practice of  remote working. One thing is certain, whether it concerns conferences or remote working spaces, WiFi remains an absolutely essential element and must live up to expectations in order to successfully expand these new professional practices.

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