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.
- All work and no play… not at your property. Providing recreation opportunities for your guests is high on the list of “must-haves” for the WFH guest. Lounge spaces with amenities like sound “bars” where they can plug in and bliss out to their favorite music or cozy fireplaces and overstuffed furniture will help your guests unwind after working all day.
Providing options like guided city tours or local hikes, outdoor bikes, pre-made picnics, spa services including massages, fitness centers, pools, cocktail hours, even game rooms and casinos help your guests to transition smoothly from work to play and provide an outstanding WFH guest experience. My team helps our clients find so many creative options for enticing the WFH traveler to stay and play!
- Let’s not forget the family – including Fido and Fluffy. Luxury properties, particularly resorts and lodges, offer WFH packages with the entire family, including pets, in mind.
This might include some on-site tutoring availability for families that travel and pet-sitting/walking services. Depending on the location, a WFH package for a family might include private beach and cabana access, outdoor firepits, golfing, kids’ “camp,” and waived resort fees.
The possibilities are endless to accommodate the Work From Hotel (WFH) guest, and Avendra’s sourcing specialists understand the unique needs of the luxury travel market. We’ll help you make data-driven decisions that capitalize on trends while maintaining a healthy bottom line and brand reputation.
*What’s an adaptogen? In herbal medicine, a natural substance is considered to help the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. A well-known example is ginseng.
About the Author
In her role as Account Director, Annie Davidson leverages her extensive experience in procurement operations and process improvement to serve Avendra’s luxury and lifestyle clients. With more than 20 years of proven experience in hotel operations, corporate procurement, multi-brand growth & supply chain strategy, Annie helps guide and assists her clients with strategic vision, growth, savings, and sustainability insights.
Avendra is North America’s leading hospitality procurement services provider. Our supply chain management solutions are tailored to our client’s business strategies and deliver benefits beyond great savings. We combine years of hospitality expertise, purchasing power, services and software to help customers impact the bottom line, improve operational performance, and better serve guests. More than 10,000 customers rely on Avendra as a trusted partner. Visit avendra.com to learn more. We Get It. And We Can Help.