Does Covid-19 spell the end of co-working? Hotels are tapping into the solo remote working trend by renting out guestrooms as private offices during the daytime. Samuel Ballard reports
With international travel currently on hold – and many of us barely even allowed to leave our own homes – many hotels have found themselves struggling to stay afloat.
According to Fitch, the ratings agency, European hotel occupancy will fall by 60 per cent this year – and won’t recover until 2023. If correct, it could mean the end for entire swathes of the hotel industry and has meant that many properties are looking at innovative ways to secure revenue while customers shun trips abroad.
One smart idea that has emerged has been offering rooms to professionals looking for a quiet space to work for the day while their office is closed (working from home can be tough for many people).
Over in Amsterdam, Zoku hotel and co-working provider is offering an “office-away-from-home-office” for locals, by turning its loft micro apartments into private workspaces.
For €55 per day, workers can pitch up in one of Zoku’s lofts where they will have free wifi, lunch and hot drinks available. Flip charts and keyboards can also be rented for €15.
Rental periods are being kept deliberately flexible, with no long-term commitments. If workers did want to stay the night, then it would cost them an extra €75. However, because of social distancing measures, only two people can share the loft at any one time.
Other hotels are following suit. Trendy chain 25 Hours is offering rooms as workspaces for €50 per day, or €200 for Monday to Friday at hotels in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.In a statement the company said: “Working on the ironing board, slow wifi, noisy neighbours – not every living room is also suitable as a home office. For those who crave a real desk, there is an ideal alternative: the 25hours Hotels Home Office rooms.” The hotel allows pets and each room even comes with its own Schindelhauer bike.
Accor is running a similar initiative at ten hotels in Bangkok. It is limited to one person per room, priced at THB690 (£18) at select iBis Style hotels, THB890 (£23) at Novotel and THB1,190 (£30) for MGallery, Pullman and Grand Mercure Hotels. The company will also look to mimic the scheme in the UK when hotels reopen.
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