In January, we reported on hotel chain Marriott's move into the flexible workspace industry, and how they had teamed up with LiquidSpace to match workers with suitable hotel-based workspaces. Now, Marriott is getting serious. It's extending its scheme, dubbed Workspace on Demand, and is rolling out the concept across more US states.
With Marriott making waves across the pond, more hoteliers in the UK are pushing the flexible workspace concept. So it's time for the flexible workspace industry to get serious, too.
As a recognised global brand and one that's already synonymous with businesses on the move, Marriott has the advantage of a solid base upon which to build its workspace concept. It has a wide reach, huge marketing capabilities and, thanks to LiquidSpace, a seamless online system that makes booking workspace as easy as booking a hotel room.
With its big-name clout, Marriott can also form strategic partnerships and provide appealing initiatives for customers, such as a recent discount offer campaign with Visa card.
Here's what you need to know about Marriott's Workspace on Demand concept:
Business owners and operators choose to work from hotels, and specific brands of hotels, because they already know what to expect. In the case of known hotel chains, quality standards and reputation are known - and while its Workspace on Demand concept might still be relatively young, workers already have certain expectations of the workspace experience.
Flexible workspace operators should be watching the hotel trend keenly. Hotels, and especially established hotel chains with high levels of standards and service, are well placed to catch the growing number of mobile workers which, according to IDC, will total 1.3 billion people worldwide by 2015.
Today's business centres, coworking spaces and flexible workspace operators already face big competition from hoteliers, and that competition is set to intensify. If flexible space operators are serious about capturing the new mobile corporate work-anywhere client, then they must deliver a consistently high standard of connectivity and service. 'Reputation' is today's new currency - and without it, workspace operators face losing out to big brands with big-name clout.
We heard at Conference 2013 how large corporations are radically shaking up their workspace in an effort to dispose of unnecessary (and costly) space and ramp up workforce productivity. Vodafone UK is just one example. Many corporations are becoming more flexible and are increasingly joining the mobile revolution, which means they're on the lookout for high-end flexible workspace to suit their work-anywhere needs.
As more companies join the mobile fray, will they choose corporate brands like Marriott for 'workspace on demand', which is ready and waiting to take their business? Or will they find everything they need in your workspace? One thing is clear - the flexible workspace indu