One of the results of the Covid-19 pandemic is that many people began working from home, often surrounded by the hubbub of children, partners and pets, and the daily goings-on of a residential neighbourhood. Luckily, hotels have stepped in with a solution – both the City Lodge Hotel Group and the Peech Hotel in Johannesburg are inviting guests to come and work in peace for the day.
From City Lodge, #YourPrivateOffice allows guests to book a room to work in from 8am to 3pm, for R495 per day which is inclusive of tea and coffee making facilities, secure parking, fast and reliable WiFi, air conditioning, and peace and quiet.
Desks in the rooms are set up as professional work-stations and provide a neutral space for guests to tackle their to-do list. A light lunch may be included in the offering for a modest additional fee. The group has stringent hygiene and sanitisation protocols at all of its properties, ensuring that they are safe to use with no risk of Covid-19 spread.
Morné Bester, general manager of operations, explains, “We have always catered for business travellers with our large desks, good lighting, free fast and reliable WiFi, range of plug points, comfortable chairs, air conditioning, pleasing room décor, and free tea and coffee making facilities. We’re now offering all of that to day visitors to our hotels who require a business workspace at an affordable price.”
At the Peech Hotel (pictured above), Vicky Peech says that the lockdown and lack of international tourists has forced them to get creative. “Many of us have needed to pivot our business models and come up with fresh and clever ideas to offer our products and services in a way that is attractive to local business people and the leisure market,” she says.
Vicky says they had the idea of offering their rooms as day-use offices came about with many of their friends and acquaintances wondering how they would balance work and life demands while based at home. “We have plenty of free parking, we’re in a great central location, and can offer clean, slick, socially distanced, quiet, functional and appealing spaces with access to abundant fresh air, natural light (including outside seating and tables),” says Vicky. “We’ve got great WiFi, and delicious food and drinks on demand.”
The ‘Day Office’ rooms are the property’s Luxury Rooms, which are equipped with a desk and chair – linen and towels are removed for sanitary reasons. For R750, a guest receives a bagged breakfast, working lunch and unlimited tea and coffee as well as the use of the room for the day. “At the end of the day, it’s a really nice synergy,” says Vicky. “For us it’s a great way to bring like-minded people into our hotel and enable them to be productive within the space we are offering. Typically they love the hotel and recommend it to friends, or are inspired to return to enjoy a meal or take a staycation at a future date.”