Do not disturb: could hotel rooms be the offices of the future?

The revolution in the world of work continues apace. Accor has just launched a new ‘Hotel Office’ concept, enabling people to book their own hotel rooms for an uninterrupted, premium remote working experience.

Basically, you can now go and book a hotel room to work in for the day. You get the room from 9am to 6pm, and as you’d hope, rates are typically cheaper than the average overnight rate for the establishment where they are located. Plus you also get access to onsite bars, restaurants and wellbeing rooms where available, as well as all the in-room amenities.

Citing a stat claiming 50 per cent of home working employees say they wish they had a better work-life balance at present, Accor thinks operating from the quiet privacy of hotel rooms could be the perfect solution.

I’m yet to see any pricing on this, but for some people, this could be an absolute winner. As I write this, I’m sitting on my sofa with my laptop propped on a cushion on my knees. We don’t have a desk in our one-bed flat, and my partner has already bagsied the dining room table, so I’m stuck with the sofa – and a bad back. What I wouldn’t give to go and sit in a hotel room all day with a proper desk, a proper chair and tea and coffee making facilities within arms reach. Plus when the 2pm lull hits there’s a freshly made bed to go and curl up in for a catnap.

The only thing missing from the offer is childcare facilities, chuck them into the mix and you’ll have people beating down the doors to make bookings for rooms.

Seriously, the promise of uninterrupted work and the opportunity to conduct conference and video calls in a private, peaceful environment, rather than one where a three-year-old wants to know when their fish fingers will be ready… sign me up.

As we approach the six-month milestone of the Covid-enforced home working revolution, the downsides are beginning to show. People are beginning to find that there’s no escape; your home used to be the place you could forget about work for the evening. Now your living rooms and bedrooms are all potential meeting rooms, places where your boss can tell you off, or even worse, make fun of your slovenly living habits. If you’re in a hotel room there’s no washing drying in the background of your Zoom call for anyone to make sarky comments about.

The downside of the hotel office idea though, is that you still have to get there. My current commute from the bedroom to the sofa is a journey of approximately 10 seconds. Plus, one of the main things people miss about the office is the working environment – if you’re in hotel rooms on your own you’re still missing out on all the office banter with your colleagues.

All in all, I’ll be watching this latest development in the move away from the office with interest. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too; is this the solution you’re looking for – essentially, will you be checking in to check it out?