In the era of permalancing, mobile workers and working vacations, it’s no surprise that the office of the future looks nothing like the office of the past. Cubicles are being replaced by café tables and conference calls are becoming group Skype chats. The working area is moving out of the office and into public space –coffee shops, bars, and hotel lobbies. This is not a bad thing; it just means work is becoming more social.
The hotel lobby used to be a place to wait for a room to check into or to have a quiet drink at the end of a long day in a new town. Now it has become a version of the town square, frequented as much by locals who live around the corner as by guests who are actually staying overnight. Marriott is responding to this trend by re-imagining their Greatroom lobbies.
As part of their recently launched Travel Brilliantly campaign, Marriott Hotels encouraged experts, travelers and innovators to embark on a journey to re-imagine the future of travel with them and to submit travel inspired ideas to TravelBrilliantly.com.
Our favorite idea to date comes from Michael H. Coventry in the United Kingdom: blending the Greatroom with a great office by introducing a concept he calls "My Social Work Space."
Essentially, Michael’s idea is to create a space that that is conducive to working in the Greatroom – a next-gen desk that is spacious, comfortable, stylish, and practical – and bookable in advance, by the hour. There would be room for colleagues to gather and collaborate – look at floor plans, tweak a fashion sketch, analyze a spreadsheet. The Wi-Fi would, of course, be blazingly fast and free (it’s already free in all Marriott Hotels Greatrooms).
Gone are the days of suggesting a meeting place and crossing your fingers that space will be available. No more jockeying for space or staring down that person who is taking up too much room at the coffee shop, hoping he/she gets the hint to move. Done right, "My Social Work Space" could make the Greatroom a sought out destination for locals as well as for hotel guests.
Designating an area within the Greatroom as the virtual office area communicates that the space is conducive to getting down to business. With the help of Marriott, together we are able to re-imagine the office of tomorrow: a buzzy and brilliant environment with endless possibilities fully equipped with the required technology. We know this idea is not the only one out there. Join in on the conversation and submit your own idea at TravelBrilliantly.com.
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