For all the doom and gloom that 2020 has thrown at us, there have been a few silver linings to cling onto with both of dry, over-sanitised hands. Whether it’s realising what’s most important or not having to see that
colleague every day, everyone’s will be slightly different. Something most would agree on though, is that not having to get on a rush hour tube/train/bus/tram and spend the next 45 minutes with your face in someone’s armpit, flinching as someone further down the carriage self-consciously coughs, is one of them.
For many, not having to make a daily commute has become one of the biggest pluses to working from home, but occasionally, you do just need a change of scenery. After having spent so much of the last six months staring out of our front window, I probably know more than I should about the neighbours – the man who nips out for a smoke every 25 minutes, like clockwork, the couple across the road I’d always though were mother and son, the woman who opens her window to listen every time there’s something vaguely juicy going on outside.
Well, good news is that now there are options, with an increasing number of hotels offering the chance to pitch up somewhere fresh that’s not a coffee shop or a busy local library. Among them is Hilton Hotels, who are offering a Hilton WorkSpace scheme, with rooms starting at £55 per day, containing everything you need for a productive day: a desk, a comfy chair, WiFi and the opportunity to use any facilities that the hotel has, including hospitality and leisure services. If you’re feeling fancier, The Dorchester’s 7am – 7pm pass includes £100 spa and dining credit, as well as stationery and hot beverages. Unfortunately, it’ll also set you back upwards of £1200.
So, does it really make a difference? Well, although it seems little research has been done into working specifically from hotels, a 2018 study that looked at activity-based offices – i.e. ones with options of various workspaces – showed that there’s a positive correlation between being able to switch locations and both productivity and wellbeing: “Satisfaction with the physical environment, privacy and communication had the strongest positive associations with self-rated productivity and well-being at work. Increased workspace switching was associated with higher productivity, while an increase in self-reported time spent searching for a workspace was associated with lower productivity and well-being” (1).
With a wealth of hotels around the UK, a travel industry that’s struggling to stay afloat, and the proven benefits of a change of location, a little work from hotel day by the sea sounds like what the doctor (or if you're lucky, boss) ordered!
- Annu Haapakangas, David M. Hallman, Svend Erik Mathiassen, Helena Jahncke. Self-rated productivity and employee well-being in activity-based offices: The role of environmental perceptions and workspace use. Building and Environment. Volume 145, 2018, 115-124,