Are hospitality and workplace design morphing into one?
Shifting work attitudes, greater concern for employee wellbeing, work anywhere business travellers and digital nomads are eroding the borders between work, travel and play. It’s all live, live, live! More and more people are working one moment, socialising another and expecting seamless experiences that delight, not detract. We’re embracing these blurred lines between hospitality and workplace design to consider all the activities that make up our daily lives. As designers we need to be equal parts craftsmen and curators.
It’s widely recognised that attracting, engaging and retaining the best possible employees is a pre-occupation for organisations everywhere. It’s also a fact beyond debate that the quality of work environment is a major influencer on employee’s satisfaction and wellbeing. Swap the word ‘employee’ for ‘guest’ in those statements and the reason office providers are learning lessons from successful hospitality venues becomes clear. Both ‘resorts’ must provide environments that are welcoming, adaptable and just as aesthetically pleasing – if not more so – than their ‘guests’ homes.
The boundary between hospitality and workplace design is morphing as the nature of work changes. With organisations increasing their focus on collaboration and team working, workplace design is borrowing from hospitality spaces. Integrating the softer, more relaxed setting and aesthetic of cafés, bars, restaurants and hotel lobbies creates environments that support and encourage interaction, and provide a comfortable, welcoming space for staff and visitors alike.
Yes. With flexible working practices, simplified remote access and social media playing an important part in our working life, the boundaries between a formal workplace and an environment that is more familiar, less rigorous and less formal are being blurred. We tend to work from everywhere, and with increased ease, thus workplace design is evolving into creating environments akin to a second home, tapping into new hospitality approaches with inviting work cafés and wellbeing programs, more meeting spaces and collaborative hubs to stimulate innovation.
Both hotels and offices are similar in that they are spaces created around the needs of people. The programs are clearly different, but increasingly merging more and more as workspaces look to hospitality models for reference, and hotels look to corporate typologies as added revenue streams. A successful design scheme will take the user – whether that is a customer, employee or guest – through a journey from a great welcome, through to an environment that caters for all their needs, and that ultimately promotes enjoyment and satisfaction.
The lines are definitely blurring. The biggest change in the Hospitality market is the ever increasing number of ‘design’ hotels where it is more important than ever before to provide the paying customer with exactly what they are expecting from a premium booking. Today the importance of beautiful modern open bars and restaurants, classic furniture choices and the integration of technology is a must to ensure individuals, groups and businesses return again and again.