Now, this is the WFH setup we need.

By Meredith Lepore
July 30, 2020
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For many, hotel rooms are reserved for exotic trips, relaxing vacations, or even a good night's sleep after a long day of business meetings. But these days, time to yourself in a hotel room may be the optimal space for work productivity instead of lounging. 

Following the spread and fallout of coronavirus, most professionals used to daily life in an office setting were advised to work from home to help mitigate the spread of the disease. And even though there may be more time in the day, thanks to no commute, working from a tiny apartment or even a large house with many distractions such as children, pets, and partners can be less than ideal for a productive workday.

Months into the #WFHroutine, offices begin to open their doors again in line with local restrictions around the country, however many still have real trepidation entering buildings that are filled with high-touch areas. In fact, a survey conducted by management consulting firm Korn Ferry in June, found that half of the 1,044 people surveyed were reluctant to return to the office because of health concerns. 

Thankfully, hotels, which have taken a major financial hit due to COVID-19, got the memo and are ready to provide the perfect work setup sans any home distractions or anxieties — and the view's not too bad either. 

The Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C.
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At the Hamilton Hotel in Washington DC., their "Home-Away-From-Home Office" package includes high-speed wifi, complimentary breakfast before noon and a Keurig coffee maker for a caffeine boost a few steps away. Guests will also have access to a PressReader, a digital newspaper with over 7,000 publications in 200 languages. Printing and faxing are also available upon request. 

Each room will also be stocked with self-care amenities for anyone looking to shower onsite. Third-party delivery for a takeout lunch or any other needs is also permitted. 

We invite anyone looking for a safe and clean work environment to use our guest rooms as their home-away-from-home office," Managing Director of the Hamilton Hotel, Mark Driscoll, told Travel + Leisure. "We can provide rooms for individuals seeking a new space to focus or spark creativity, as well as businesses looking for alternative office spaces.” 

Check-in is at 9 a.m. and check-out is at a 4 p.m and the package is only available on weekdays. Rates begin at $89 for a standard room and $199 for suites and bookings can be made by calling the hotels directly.

As for whether this will continue even after the pandemic is over, Driscoll is optimistic.

“While this program was created as a response to COVID-19 and to support our local community, we may consider offering this as a longterm option if people continue to be interested," he said. "We know the hotel industry is strong and will bounce back, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to come up with innovative ways to offer services to our local communities, increase temporary room occupancy, and support our staff.”

At The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills, Calif., the hotel has launched "Offices at The London West Hollywood," where rooms, as large as 725-square-feet can be rented on a monthly basis or even longer without the hassle of an annual lease agreement or deposit required by most commercial office spaces. The London's workspace is complete with a work desk, chair, wall-mounted television, and furniture, but there's no room for power napping as the bed is removed.

And safety, of course, being the no. 1 concern regardless of where an employee logs on, the hotel has implemented Northwood Hospitality’s Safety and Well-Being Promise Program, which the hotel's Director of Sales and Marketing, Greg Velasquez, told T+L, "focuses on three key pillars – prevention, cleanliness and reducing contact."

“This program builds upon the hotel’s already high standards of housekeeping, food & beverage, and overall hygiene where it uses the highest-grade cleaning products and enhanced safety protocols," he explained. 

Rooms can be leased starting at $5,000 per month on a month-to-month basis as an alternative for businesses that plan to reopen their offices soon but aren’t quite ready to roll out all the safety and social distancing measures in their own offices.

The NoMo SoHo boutique hotel's work from home package, entitled Your Place, may make New Yorkers never actually want to go back to their place. Setting up shop in a "Workaway" room, their spaces have desks and high-speed internet that can host small groups for meetings. Guests also have access to self-care and fitness amenities, meals from NOMO Kitchen (which is probably better than your kitchen), and free coffee. Discounted parking rates and a concierge service are also offered. 

An office pet, aka your dog, is also allowed to join for the day. Booking Your Place will cost  $119 for 4 hours or $179 for 8 hours for a "Workaway" option or $89 for 4 hours excluding taxes and fees or $149 for 8 hours excluding taxes and fees for a "Day Trip" option, which consists of a larger space.

At The Ballantyne in Charlotte, N.C., the hotel has actually converted its boardrooms into private office spaces, which can be rented on a weekly or longer basis. Professionals that book the space have access to a special menu by Ballantyne Executive Chef Ivo Sandrea, aptly named "The Commissary Menu," featuring typical office lunch fare including salads and wraps. All-day beverage service (bottled water, soda, coffee) can also be made available, at an additional cost.

Boardroom offices at The Ballantyne are now available for booking and can be leased starting at $500 per week. 

Even though all of these options, wherever a professional decides to sign on throughout the country sound like major #WFHgoals, it's still important to take precautions and only leave your personal space for an environment that meets a person's comfort level.

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, told T+L that a professional looking to escape a noisy house or tiny apartment should use their judgment.

I would avoid crowded hotels with shared common areas if possible but if unavoidable then masks should be worn in all public places," she said, recommending that someone looking into hotel office spaces find out how long the rooms have been vacant for. "If less than 72 hours I would consider bringing disinfectants and cleaning supplies and cleaning the room yourself.” 

However, Dr. Purvi did note that for mental health purposes, “it is always nice to have a change of scenery but best to do it safely. Choose locations to work that are not crowded (no unknown people within a 10-foot radius) and that are outdoors and stay vigilant by wearing masks when outside of your home and washing your hands frequently and avoiding to touch your face as much as possible.”

Throughout the duration of the pandemic, hotels have taken note to comfort levels of future guests and have implemented precautions including mandating masks, using high-grade disinfectants and fogging techniques for cleaning, and creating environments for perfect for social distancing. Those looking to change up their work from home routine and utilize a hotel package are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 before heading out — and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration.