Ferrero, one of the ‘sweetest’ companies, though one of the most family-run as well, has started an experimental smart-working project. What it means is that you can work out of any place, but not out of your office. Co-working spaces are mushrooming in town, and they often replace traditional offices. So, what is the connection with the hotel of the future? Well, the title may sound a little ambitious, but there are a few observations we can make.
Of course, the mantra for hotels is «the money is made on rooms». But what if this mantra could be partly subverted?
Let’s picture a slightly different future. Hotels have space, organisation, and are sufficiently embedded in the social fabric to make for perfect suppliers of services to consumers.
Offering co-working areas for freelancers, with the consequent effect of stimulating bar and restaurant activity, is only but one of the possible directions to undertake.
What if we go further, and envisage other types of services as well?
A hotel is an economic player with great local visibility. It may provide excellent mailbox services for many people who do not have a reception service at home; the meeting rooms could be rented for small parties, like co-working spaces (though for reasonable prices); and why not propose laundry and tailoring services? In brief, the hotel can turn into a social player in its neighbourhood or town. The only limit, of course, is its type of structure and organisation, and the amount of creative imagination.
I am aware that saying this will be the hotel of the future is also a limit, but it can certainly be a possible future. All will depend on our willingness to open up, capture the signs of the times, and add ever newer shades to the old mantra’ palette.