Coworking spaces within hotels – future or fad?

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The workplace has undergone dramatic changes over the past decade. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever to work remotely and with these swift changes, we have waved goodbye to 9-5 working and fax machines. As a millennial myself, open-plan offices and wellness benefits may be all I’ve ever known but we continue to evolve and adapt to new trends which are switching up our perception of the workplace even today.

A recent phenomenon is the surge in co-working spaces, which shows no signs of slowing down with research from GCUC predicting that the number of global coworking spaces will grow from 14,411 in 2017 to over 30,000 by 2022. Now, we’re starting to see growing numbers of hotels looking to cash in on the flexible space boom, too, transforming underused spaces in communal areas or outdated business centres into modern and vibrant co-working spaces.

So, is this new hybrid the future or another fad? Well, despite fears from some hotel owners that this may be another passing trend, there’s no denying that there’s been a global influx of hotels adopting the concept, which is positively impacting local economies, hospitality networks, and the ever-growing co-working industry.

Take Hotel Schani Wien in Vienna as an example. The integration of desks and workspace rentals into their lobby, which hotel guests use for free and locals pay a membership, has provided a space that facilitates connections between guests and locals. Not only is the hotel operator successfully driving tourism, they are also supporting local businesses and generating further revenue by capitalising on existing space while activating profitable economies.

This cross-sector approach adapts to the flexibility of the modern workforce while creating a place which we might not immediately associate with either home or work, but which is proving an ideal environment for modern-day employees and one which I see as a representation of the future.