Hospitality experts, Guestline have released a new report which reveals the growing shift in co-working from hotels, rivaling the traditional office and foreseeing a gap in the market for hospitality to become more co-working friendly. Here, they discuss their five top design tips for creating the ideal co-working space within a hotel. 

Over 55% of workers who also work remotely (either occasionally or full time) struggle to concentrate in the office for at least half an hour each day, according to the new study. People are therefore losing an average of 116 hours of work per year, which equates to almost 17 working days, due to a dip in productivity within their working environment.

46% of people said they would prefer to work from hotels but feel as though there are not enough places that provide the facility.

The study conducted by Guestline surveyed 2,000 people in the UK to understand what people want from their co-working spaces in hotels.

What do people value most in a workspace?

When people were asked what their most important factors were to choosing a co-working space, the data revealed that it’s all about providing an environment that runs smoothly:

These requirements, in order or rank, were as follows: 

Internet Speed (43%)

Quietness (38%)

Comfortability (35%)

Facilities [Sockets, printing, seating etc.] (28%)

When asked what annoyed them the most in co-working spaces, respondents said that ‘people talking loudly’ was the most irritating factor, followed closely by a lack of privacy and uncomfortable seating.

 “As many of our guests are elite travellers who are constantly on-the-go, we find it a priority for them feel comfortable working in our public spaces, whether that’s alone or having a quick meeting with a client," comments Dominic Osborne, general manager at Aviator Hotel by TAG. 

"With the popularity for co-working areas in hotels on the rise, it’s great to see how the hotel industry can provide more than just a place to stay but also an area to conduct business."

5 Top Design tips for creating the ideal co-working space in the hotel

Guestline's study revealed a lot of information which provided some valuable insights on what people actually want when using a co-working space.

1. Make co-working comfortable
It may seem obvious, but having comfortable seating and enough space for people is vital. Often this aspect can be overlooked in favour of what’s aesthetically pleasing. Ask yourself whether it will be comfortable to work in.

With comfort and space in mind, consider styling an environment that allows room to breathe. If you are tight for space, it may be worth leaning more towards a long table with seats, rather than attempting to fit in many units of individual furniture.

If you have room, opt for a variety of softer seating with room to spread out, from formal tables through to relaxed sofas, which caters for all types of business and allows people to move around should they grow uncomfortable in the same spot throughout the day.

2. A distraction-free space
Loud conversation is the single biggest annoyance for people working in public spaces, according to our survey. Almost 40% of professionals regard quiet as the most important aspect of co-working. 

When creating a space for workers in your hotel, look to establish it as a quiet environment that stimulates productivity. Is the room too close to your kitchen or dining areas? Is it located on a thoroughfare for staff shifting loud items, like bins or plates and cutlery?

Consider creating separate designated zones for quiet working and talking. This way, you can appeal to all types of workers, whether they’re in groups or working solo.

3. Keep Users Connected
Over 60% of people expect Wi-Fi/internet to be free of charge. As hoteliers in the digital age, it is essential if your hotel is going to offer an area for people to work in.

People also ranked internet speed as the most important factor when in a co-working environment, which shows customers are primarily after somewhere they can be productive.

Offering a fast and wireless internet service allows remote workers the freedom to send emails, make video calls, and browse the web for as long as they like without frustrating loading times. Simply put, they need to be able to work. It would also be worth designing your co-working space close to someone who can help with any technical queries; many professionals say a lack of IT support is a pet peeve of co-working spaces.

4. Offer Privacy spaces
Privacy is an important aspect of co-working, according to our survey. Over a third of business people consider a lack of privacy as an issue for remote working, with more than 25% expecting private meeting rooms to be available. Security is also a concern of co-workers, with more than 20% citing it as a top complaint. 

Explore ways you can offer private and secure working for professional people, whether it be single booths separated by dividers or blocks of meeting rooms so groups can talk without being overheard.

It would also be responsible to get an IT expert in to check both that your network is secure enough for professionals to work confidently with any sensitive business data, and to check that your hotel’s private data won’t be compromised by anything remote workers could do.

5. Practicality Pays Off 
Over half of co-working professionals expect plenty of charging outlets for their phones, laptops, and other electricals, according to our findings. This allows business people to stay plugged in, whether they’re planning on working all day or just while they wait for a train. Printing facilities are also expected by a third of business people.

Calling in an electrician to install plenty of charging stations and sockets at each work point won’t go amiss. Two plug sockets per seat might be optimal – one for a laptop, another to charge a phone. Offering printing free of charge will encourage people to spend longer in your co-working spaces without too much expense on your part.

“It’s exciting to discover hotels could be a new solution for people who work remotely within the UK," comments Kate Fuller, Marketing Manager at Guestline. "Traditionally, coffee shops have been one of the typical, go-to destinations, but we are seeing a huge shift in co-working behaviour, with people desiring spaces that are quieter and still have all the facilities they need to work efficiently and conduct meetings.

"The research shows that hotels offer the three most important factors to people who co-work, which means it’s time for hoteliers to get ahead of the game and create a designated co-working offering to maximise revenue and revolutionize the way people utilise their facilities.”

Co-Working Hotels across the UK

Malmaison - Leeds
One of the best in the city, Malmaison hotel in Leeds provides an exclusive vibe to all its guests with fantastic office facilities. They also offer ‘pods’ for private meeting space so you can collaborate with ease.

The Hoxton – Shoreditch, London
The Hoxton Hotel in the suburb of Shoreditch is a relaxed and rustic hotel which has a strong sense of individuality. The perfect place to plug in your laptop and perhaps grab a coffee from the grill restaurant, in house. They also offer specially designed spaces for meetings which you can book, with fully a stocked fridge and drinks – a great way to impress clients.

The Titanic Hotel - Belfast
The Office Bar at the Titanic Hotel is not only lavished with a mix of contemporary and classic décor, it is the perfect spot for a client a meeting when you want to impress or a space to fire through some emails over a drink. The office bar is open to the public, or alternatively, you can book one of their 7 presentation rooms with opulent designs.

Based on this new insight, Guestline has created a free e-book that identifies what hoteliers can do to utilize their spaces for co-working, in order to maximize visibility, drive footfall and attract this new profile of guests.