How important is a guestroom work desk? It’s been debated for a while now. A few years back, some hotels tried eliminating this staple and ended up receiving mixed responses from business and leisure travelers.
Guest feedback shows that the preferred desk would be strategically designed and well-placed in the room, allowing multiple purposes beyond just a work desk. Still, the future of workstations remains open to interpretation. Overall, the classic, clunky desk seems to be making an exit- especially at the newer hotel brands. The younger demographic tends toward casual spaces, working from the bed, lobby, or patio. And yet, some guests still prefer a more traditional workstation.
So, what are your options to keep all guests happy and productive? Let’s discuss!
Evolution of the Guestroom Desk
- From the clunky desk to a bed table, a variety of work surfaces have been tested. While brands like Hyatt Place choose to be more classic with a table surface and chair, new-age brands such as Tru by Hilton and Moxy minimize desk dimensions while optimizing space management.
A SpringHill Suites guestroom features an elegant work desk in Punta Gorda
The desk in a Tru by Hilton guestroom is mobile and space saving
Millennial-focused Moxy features foldable desks in Chattanooga
- The majority of guests desire mobility more than anything else. This fact has prompted some brands to integrate work surfaces that allow the occupant to move anywhere in the room to work—be it from the bed or balcony.
What Brands are Doing
Some brands are re-envisioning their desk appeal:
- Marriott has replaced in-room desks with tables in many of their prototype designs.
- Kimpton Hotels are equipped with sofas and coffee tables.
- Tru by Hilton is replacing desks with chairs that incorporate laptop trays.
- Holiday Inn Express incorporates mobile desks—an adjustable-height tray that can be pulled up to a bed or sofa for a laptop.
Productivity Beyond Guestroom
With an increasingly connected and interactive lobby, the communal space is enticing guests to venture out of their rooms. With great Wi-Fi, fun décor, F&B just steps away, and networking opportunities, the lobby has undoubtedly become a modern age co-working space.
While most design decisions fall under the brand purview, hoteliers should listen to their guests or research their prospective demographic. If you don’t agree with the brand’s view of guestroom desk furniture, consider going custom in other areas of the hotel. In addition, here are some design trends that could keep your guests happy and productive:
- Add custom design elements to your public spaces like the lobby, courtyard, patio, and rooftop to satisfy the working space needs of certain demographics.
- Make sure to have ample power sockets and possibly wireless desk chargers.
- Find out which brands are integrating casual work areas into prototypes to accommodate guest needs.
- For example, Courtyard by Marriott provides media pods with televisions for a more casual working experience.
Distinctive workspace area at the Tru by Hilton North Platte lobby
A relaxed public working zone at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Melbourne, Florida
In addition to the above ideas, what else can you do to accommodate today’s guests’ needs?
- Incorporate versatile furniture pieces such as ottomans and chaises
- Movable side tables can be a flexible option
- Standing desks are in and are said to be productivity boosters. They can also become a lucrative marketing point.
- Communal gathering spaces such as the lobby continue to serve as a collaborative hub; make sure it meets all needs of a working guest. Some markings of a functional lobby are:
- High-speed Wi-Fi
- Comfortable seating with complementing, ergonomic surface to work on
- Ample power outlets and charging stations
- A collaborative environment that induces networking
- Lighting to encourage productivity, such as white lights
- A quick F&B concept
Keep the lobby relaxed and connected
While trying to optimize spaces and follow trends, it is important to not lose sight of guest needs. This thin line, if crossed, might result in underwhelming reviews.
Each brand is designed differently with a certain blend of guest demographics, which design professionals at Base4 study well. This equips us with a unique perspective to create custom interior designs and find efficient workarounds in partially prototyped hotels for optimum guest comfort.
Contact me today to understand the design dynamics and how we can help you!