Thought Leadership

Hospitality comes to the office

The influence of hospitality
Insights StudioTK Boroughs

Mar 28 2022

Hospitality comes to the office

Companies are realizing what boutique hotels discovered 10 years ago and are now perfecting—guest satisfaction promotes loyalty and catapults the brand. Good hotels have perfected guest satisfaction by anticipating and meeting guest needs—from the basic human desire to be recognized, welcomed, entertained, and comfortable to the need to work intensely. From the moment the guest walks in they are made comfortable through the design, lighting, music, scent and refreshment (branded, of course) offered by a friendly greeter who calls them by name and asks how they can help with any little thing. It is all about orchestrating the Experience with a capital E and making the guest feel like, “It’s all about and for them personally and that you really care.” This is accomplished through careful strategic planning, design and service style with well-trained house staff all working hand-in-hand.

"Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space... on the one hand it's about shelter, but it's also about pleasure."
- Zaha Hadid

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”.

Hospitality comes to the office banner

Aligning with the five Touch Points, there are five trends I see making their way into offices today.

  • First impression
  • The arrival experience
  • Quiet zones and personal comfort
  • The living room/social hub
  • Food and beverage
  • A healthy work/life work style
JIMA public page

When interviewing for an office design project, whether a law firm, investment firm, technology group or other project, our studio now shows not only our office experience, but also our hotel experience. I apologize for showing a bar with lots of great comfortable seating, outlets everywhere and some high-tech TV’s fitted perfectly into the millwork, but the reaction I get every time is, “We want that!”