Refuge For The Officeless

Fast Company: There was a time when “working a hotel” meant fishnets and a miniskirt–now it’s a laptop and a cell.
Hang out in a hotel lobby or bar, particularly a high-end one, and you’re sure to see more people than ever running their entire business operations from a table over in the corner. “With a city-center hotel, it’s hard to say who’s a hotel guest,” says Mark Sergot, director of sales and marketing at the Fairmont hotel in Chicago. Given the trappings of the free public space of a hotel, why not? Afraid of getting busted? Not only do hotel managers not mind, but most we talked to view the practice as a chance to enhance their bottom lines.
As the Fairmont’s Sergot explains, “Folks sitting in the lobby are typically bringing the hotel revenue, be it the coffee in the morning or cocktails in the evening.”
For the meeting holders, hotel lobbies have a lot of advantages over, say, Starbucks–or, more awkwardly, their own hotel rooms, which are bedrooms. “If it’s a nice hotel with nice furnishings, it’s a really comfortable environment,” says Nathan Papadopulos, a marketing manager for Logitech, the consumer-electronics maker.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.