Savvy hotel operators could harness the remote working trend and adapt their space to deliver a ‘hybrid hospitality’ concept to generate an additional source of income. Global real estate advisor, Colliers International, predicts that where hotels provide office space to enable co-working and interacting, turnover could be increased by up to 20%. In addition, the provision of more flexible workspace in the predicted hybrid hotel's trend could deliver an “amenitisation” model, to create greater benefit from and value to the hospitality industry. Independent ventures including Zoku, which has pioneered this hybrid hospitality-concept, Hoxton/Ennismore, Accor, Ace Hotels, citizenM and Kerten Hospitality focus on the mix of work and overnight stays and have had huge success over the last few years. According to Colliers, many more hotels are going to mix these functions in the future.
"Hotels creating a place not only to sleep and eat but also to rent out space to meet, collaborate, socialise and work is a key way that underperforming areas within the building can be optimised from a revenue and income perspective. You can use hotel space twice while traditional workspace only once. Not only could this concept appeal to institutional investors but I would not be surprised if this becomes a permanent new form of hospitality in the future,” commented Dirk Bakker, head of hotels for the EMEA region at Colliers International.
He explained: “However it is important to highlight there are big differences when it comes to the flex office models across the EMEA region. For example in the Netherlands, before the COVID-19 pandemic, around 14 % of people worked from home while in Germany this figure was only five per cent. Naturally, the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the flex office trend but the significant cultural differences will remain. This can also be observed in the approach of the hotels themselves. For example, the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam has already implemented the hybrid flexibility concept while the Marriott is still keen to retain its traditional business model.”
During economically uncertain times, companies have had to become more flexible by reorganising their space to accommodate varying requirements. As an example, flexible workspace providers responded to this after the credit crisis by offering companies more room for manoeuvre in their leases, such as shorter terms, compared to traditional real estate owners. “The Netherlands is now a leader in Europe with the supply of this type of office space,” said Harold Coenders, head of workplace innovation at Colliers International. "Amsterdam and Eindhoven are the flex capitals of the continent supplying six per cent and 5.9% of the total office stock in Europe respectively. More organisations will switch to working from home in the future, supplemented with an office for a few days, or a smaller office, with flexible workplaces elsewhere. Hotels can fill this requirement."
Coenders added: “This does involve adjustments in hotels. Enticing shared workplaces, meeting rooms and co-working spaces are required. Some of the hotel rooms should be made suitable for working, with the bed concealed, so that you can receive visitors. This is about offering day-to-day flexibility for renting workplaces, a hospitality first experience with personal and high-quality service and an inspiring and dynamic environment with international allure. Hotel spaces can be utilised seven days per week while traditional offices for only five days. Given that 40% of waste comes from real estate and energy use, these figures provide fundaments for this hybrid trend to evolve in the future.”