Now work is being shared between home and office locations, there will be an effect on the way we interact with people at each place and the hospitality venues around them.
By cutting the commute to the office to three or four days a week, workers will have a greater excitement to be in the city and will focus on spending time with the personnel they meet there. This could lead to more working lunches, after-work drinks and even staying out for dinner to make the most of time in town with colleagues, friends, associates and clients. Corporate bookings could rise as companies look for venues to unite their workforce to encourage team spirit and share ideas.
Neighbourhood restaurants and bars could benefit from a new influx of local remote workers. If operators can monitor how customers’ behaviour and requirements change at each venue, they could adapt to offer them services to entice them to stay.
Going from coffee shop to coffee shop cannot be a permanent solution for the new wave of remote workers, whether in a neighbourhood or central location. Rather than being frustrated by customers buying a single coffee and staying for hours, venues should embrace the remote working crowd and monetise their stay.
Creating all-day menus, allocating a hired workstation and offering private rooms are a few options that could be brought in to capitalise on this new remote-working audience. New communities can be created that will breed a new audience and level of loyalty.
Ennismore’s Hoxton Hotel lobby is a great example of how to create a multifaceted destination for people to work and play. It is open to non-hotel guests, acting as a standalone destination in its own right, welcoming people to sit at their laptops, hold meetings and use the area as they wish.
We will see lots of other operators follow suit by embracing remote workers to drive new revenue streams and extend trading hours. Creating spaces that give consumers more reasons to visit, offers services to make them dwell longer and makes their lives more convenient can only help to drive success.
Charlie Catterall is co-founder of ETCH