Hotels spend a great deal of time doing market research and designing just the right experience for their customer. They have to as customer satisfaction is their business and is directly linked to higher occupancy, room rates and higher profit. Hotels talk a lot about “Touch Points”—the moments that matter most to their guest. They use different terms, but all concentrate more or less on the following five touch points: First Impression, Arrival Experience, Quiet Zones and Personal Comfort, Living Room/Social Hub and the Food & Beverage Experience. They have more recently added a sixth—Healthy Lifestyle. Hotels also spend a lot of time choosing words and slogans to describe their core values and then setting brand standards that reflect these core values like Marriott’s “Welcome, Gather, Collaborate, Chill.” Of late, some of the key words applying to the design of the hotel are Authenticity, Timeless, Dynamic, Transformative, Empathetic, Confident, Purposeful, and Intelligent.
Today’s smart companies realize that the look and feel of the office is a direct reflection of the brand and that they are the hosts to their clients and must anticipate and accommodate client needs. Companies are looking at how employees work at home and in hotels to tune the office for similar comforts and the appropriate professional social interaction. Hotels have been accommodating travelers working from their room for years, with multiple power and data outlets available at desktop, bedside and a comfortable lounge chair—three different work venues with proper lighting, telephone and TV controls all within arm’s reach. Hotels soon realized the guest worker wanted company while working and ACE hotels led the way with the Social Hub. Now all good hotels have excellently equipped living room/social hubs where guests can work “alone together”.
Aligning with the five Touch Points, there are five trends I see making their way into offices today.