The pandemic has changed the way many people work. Though some may be heading back to the office, many are still working remotely at least part-time, offering them a great deal of flexibility about where they work.
Vacation rental and hotel automation technology company Operto has identified traveling while working remotely as a top trend, while multiple companies have referred to remote working’s continuation as travel’s “greatest change-maker“ for this year. The key will be finding ways to leverage the trend to their advantage.
Short-term rentals and day rates
Carlo Torrano and Amy Bradac of San Francisco-based design and construction project management firm Bradac Co. write that hotels with access to larger groups that have transitioned to working outside the office could adapt space for those who need an alternative place to work.
“Whether driven by a need for a better workspace layout, a quieter environment to avoid home distractions during crunch times or important meetings, or simply a change of scenery to avoid the onset of ‘cabin fever,’ a local hotel offering short-term rentals and day rates might be just the right fit for some workers to increase productivity,” Torrano and Bradac write, adding that properties in commuter hub suburbs and in metropolitan areas could especially benefit from offering these options.
A recent report, the 2022 Deloitte travel outlook: The winding path to recovery, highlights the effects of remote working on the hospitality industry. The CitizenM brand, based in Amsterdam, and The Mandarin Oriental in Washington, both featured in the report, are offering subscription plans for digital nomads.
Deloitte executive Eileen Crowley, noting that trip frequency has been the main barrier to subscription models, said that “with that whole play of remote workers, we see those folks taking more trips during the year, and there could be an opportunity for companies to look at the subscription model, as a way to attract those particular types of travelers.”
Hyatt Hotels has instituted Work from Hyatt, which offers one-day, five-night and 29-night packages for remote workers, allowing for short local stays or longer-term stays around the world. Hyatt has extended the program through the end of the year.
Midweek specials for hybrid workers
Multiple hotel brands have begun offering midweek specials for a different type of worker: the suburban commuter who has shifted to a hybrid model.
“We actually started to change the way we do business and the way we cater to our clients following this trend,” said Mario Bevilacqua von Günderrode, general manager of the San Francisco Proper Hotel.
Guests enjoy the flexibility. Bob Schmidt, co-founder of a financial tech company, said it doesn’t make sense to rent an apartment for the few times a month he has to be in New York City.
Staying in hotels allows him to “move around as much as I want. I generally find a boutique hotel, go there for two or three months, and when I’ve had my fill, I pick another neighborhood and another hotel,” Schmidt said.
Anyplace, which was launched in 2017, offers a collection of hotels, furnished apartments and co-living spaces under flexible terms. Its locations include cities across the US, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Indonesia and more.
“The pandemic has dramatically changed the way people live and travel, with remote work becoming the new norm,”Anyplace co-founder and CEO Steve Saturo Naito said. “From now on, people will have the flexibility to travel slowly or try out a new city without interrupting their work schedule.”
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