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The rise of hotel hot-desking

By Alison Edwards, director of sales at The Grand Brighton and Richmond Hill Hotel

A few years ago, if you had asked your boss to ‘work remotely’, it would’ve been met with certain scepticism. Preconceived notions of you unenthusiastically replying to emails in your pyjamas whilst really watching daytime television would’ve seen your request swiftly and firmly denied. Luckily times have changed and the traditional 9 to 5 desk shackles have been loosened creating a new wave of flexible working.

We are living in an age of constant connectivity meaning that work can happen anywhere at any time and younger generations, most significantly millennials, grow up expecting flexible and remote work as a given rather than a perk. Remote working is a broad spectrum that ranges from freelancing from a beach in Thailand (I wish) to working from a coffee shop or even just answering emails on your commute; however you interpret it, there’s no escaping that there is certainly demand for less traditional office spaces.

Now I’m not saying that we should all put our offices up for sale and set up base camp in the nearest café but it’s certainly important for companies to recognise the need for employees to have the opportunity to work remotely on occasion. Whether it’s to fit around childcare hours, a busy lifestyle or simply for a change of scenery there are huge benefits to both employees and employers in encouraging a fluid workplace culture.

Finding the perfect place to work remotely used to be challenge; now with WiFi now freely available almost everywhere temporary office spots are ten a penny, but how conducive are they to productivity? Co-working spaces such as WeWork are providing an alternative option to third space working in coffee shops, perfect for start-ups and small companies but with a membership usually required, where do the occasional remote-workers go?

The Grand Brighton and Richmond Hill are bridging this gap and aligning with the ethos and energy of co-working spaces. Our lobbies are becoming an all-day destination for hot-desking. Bookable meeting rooms offer privacy for meetings and small conferences and no longer necessarily require a full DDR package, and private dry hire room rates are on offer which can be booked for as little or as long as needed, perfect for a one-off presentation, meeting or last minute re-group.

In the designs for our Richmond Hill restaurant refurbishment, scheduled for completion in spring 2019, we felt it was important to give thought to the growing trend for remote working. Our newly configured restaurant and bar will provide a hub for the community; a place to meet with friends or colleagues for work or play.

Obviously there is still a market for full day DDR packages but it’s vital to offer variety and adapt to the new cultural working norms being built by millennials. It’s time to say goodbye to the days of being chained to an office desk 40 hours a week and embrace the freedom of more intuitive working.