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Coworking: The Next Great Hospitality Investment for the Hotel Industry

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Business travelers today demand more. In fact, today’s business travelers are increasingly looking for consistent, quality locations to meet clients, employees, and prospective customers. With many people now working remote, “meeting at the office” is increasingly rare.

These travelers want a comfortable, but high-end place to connect with local contacts, return calls, and have confidential video calls and Zoom meetings.

Coworking facilities — when done the right way and situated in the correct locations — fill that post-pandemic void extremely well, particularly a larger franchise brand like Venture X, which has locations in many major markets.

Interestingly enough, hotels can be an important part of this picture.

A view of a VentureX coworking space.

Hotels and Coworking — A Perfect Match?

We recently attended a large conference of hotel owners. The hotel hospitality industry and the coworking hospitality industry are incredibly similar; it’s just that many players in the hotel space don’t know about coworking.

Our industry has far fewer headaches than the hotel hospitality industry, a more consistent and predictable customer base, and far fewer employees to hire and train. The coworking industry reduces all of the negatives of the hospitality industry yet expands on all of the reasons they got into the hospitality industry in the first place.

For that reason, we see many successful hotel companies taking a real look at the coworking industry, and Venture X in particular.

What Will the Future of Coworking and Hotels Look Like?

Since coworking is such a great fit for the hospitality industry, premium coworking experiences could become a key game-changer for innovative hotels that cater to business travelers.

There are all sorts of coworking concepts that cater to different demographics — but the coworking concept that features higher-end fixtures, private spaces to hold a virtual meeting or place an important phone call, and ample conference-room spaces to close deals or do group trainings will be the wave of the post-pandemic future.

We’re all starting to travel again, but we’re looking at the world differently as we travel for work.

How Does It Work?

Business travelers need more than the long table with USB power charging ports that they find in the hotel lobby.

They need private, well-lit spaces to hold a Zoom or MS Teams meeting without wondering who is listening, and they don’t want to do that from their hotel room. They need conference-room spaces of various sizes to have those group video meetings, and they expect the same luxuries and amenities that they have in their offices or at home.

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While the hotel hospitality industry does some of that, the coworking hospitality industry has perfected it.

Instead of trying to incorporate some of those features into their existing properties, many hotel owners are diversifying into coworking by launching a freestanding coworking facility (like a Venture X franchise) in close proximity to their hotel properties.

By offering their hotel guests a day pass or preferred conference room rental rates at their nearby coworking facility, it helps both their hotel and the coworking business. Plus, since they already have a management infrastructure set up and experience operating in a franchise network, it’s an easy ‘plug and play’ concept for them.

A view of a VentureX coworking space.

Business Travel and Remote Working — Here to Stay

Business travelers aren’t looking at remote working the same now as they did in 2019. The old email auto-reply saying “I am out of the office without access to email” just doesn’t apply anymore. Customers expect that wherever we travel, we’ll be connected for a virtual meeting.

The luxe hotel-stay experience must understand that and respond with places for high-end guests to take business calls and conduct remote meetings.

Hotel owners are coming to us to analyze their existing work environments and advise them on how to improve it for the post-pandemic work traveler (which coworking has done so well).

Oftentimes, our answer is “you need a dedicated coworking facility to partner with so your guests can work when they need to work and play when they’re finished.”  Being that coworking partner for hotel operators continues to be a big opportunity for us — and it’s so much bigger post-pandemic.

Having a network of franchise locations that are owned by local entrepreneurs makes adding a coworking facility to one’s portfolio that much more appealing, as guests will choose to stay in certain properties because of their proximity to a local Venture X (where they have advantages with reciprocal membership).

Gone are the days of travelers being content with cramped no-frills “business centers” with obsolete equipment, burned coffee, mediocre Wi-Fi, and antiquated printers. Fortunately, the hospitality industry is perfectly positioned to join with the coworking industry to dramatically redefine what the future of work looks like, feels like, and what it is.

Written by Michael White, President of Venture X and Chief Development Officer of United Franchise Group. If you’re interested in owning or developing a Venture X space, visit the website today to learn more.

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Michael White is the President of Venture X and Chief Development Officer of United Franchise Group.

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