Work from Hotel: A Case for a New Kind of WFH by Elena Borrero, SmartFlyer Travel Consultant

Updated: Dec 4, 2020



We’re adapting the ‘h’ in WFH to an environment much sleeker–and certainly with far fewer distractions–than home; say hello to “work from hotel.”

Mere weeks into the pandemic, “Zoom fatigue” entered our vernacular and all these months later, the phenomenon only feels more pronounced in our daily lives as we slog through seemingly endless virtual sessions. Quite simply, professionals in all verticals are exhausted from taking more meetings and working longer hours from home (even if it is in sweatpants!). We are craving human connection. It may seem as though face-to-face interactions with colleagues are a figment of our imaginations at this point, but we’re here to flip the script and present an option to revisit [a semblance of] business as usual…albeit, with fewer handshakes and a whole lot more hand sanitizer.



How would it be possible for your team or your clients to return to in-person meetings when the perception is that travel is still quite risky? Well, let us turn to the facts that are helping to empower travelers to hit the road again. If you’ve been wary of flying, recent news coming from The Department of Defense and U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), proves the risk of COVID-19 exposure on an airplane is virtually non-existent. The landmark study released in mid-October was conducted over the course of six months and is the most comprehensive on cabin airflow available; the results demonstrate that when a passenger is seated and wearing a mask, on average only 0.0003% of infected air particles could enter their breathing zone, even when every seat on the plane is occupied. Ultimately, the fast-onboard air recirculation, downward designed air ventilation and efficient HEPA filters make the cabin of a [United] airplane one of the safest indoor environments in the world.




But like any solid business proposition, we aren’t resting our case there. Instead, we’ve rounded up an entire list of the ways that partnering with a SmartFlyer travel advisor to lay out your WFHotel plan will not only put your mind at ease but help to fulfill your personal and professional objectives in this tricky climate. The hotels we’ve hand-selected to be partners in our WFHotel program excel at implementing policies to ensure guest safety; and beyond the temperature checks, reduced touch-points with staff and stringent sanitization procedures, they’ve also gotten creative to ensure you have every tool at your fingertip for success.


1. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE TO COLLABORATION


One of the primary needs our team has cited a growing demand for amongst clients is multi-bedroom suites that offer dedicated space to conduct brainstorming sessions and small meetings. For instance, the Mandarin Oriental, Boston invites guests to relax in their Royal Suite, 2,525 square feet of contemporary residential design that includes a large living and dining room space. Here, our team was able to test out the concept and not only conduct in-person strategy sessions but transition to the evening where a private chef created a magical evening for conversation and connection, all without having to leave the security of the suite. Check out the Bergen County Mom’s Mandarin Oriental Exclusive.




2. DELVE INTO LIFE-ENHANCING PROGRAMMING


When it comes to making the most of your time at your WFHotel destination of choice, it’s all about personalization. Your SmartFlyer travel advisor is equipped to lean into relationships with various local consultants depending on whether you’re looking simply for a stellar spa treatment, personal training session or something more spiritual, like a crystal healing experience. For instance, over in Los Angeles, our friends at The West Hollywood EDITION embrace healthy lifestyles and ecological well-being. Their spa services include technology-forward treatments with sound and light, recovery therapies to restore the mind and body, and ancient rituals such as self-guided meditation. Inner health and nutrition are a focus with plant-derived products, including essential oils. If you love a sports massage, their version is a “In Strength” which uses the Hypervolt tool to really dig deeper into tender muscles.



For a deeper mind-body connection, we love that Four Seasons New York Downtown can link us up with three Resident Healers who provide unique, mindful experiences for guests during one-one-one private appointments ranging from acupuncturist, herbalist and clairvoyant to crystal healer and mediation master. Oh, and a dip into their chic indoor pool after your healing session doesn’t hurt, either, before returning to your work from hotel grind.



3. TURN AN OFFSITE INTO A WFH(OTEL) CREATIVE BUBBLE


Pre-COVID, Harvard Business Review reported that “Off-sites collectively cost U.S. companies hundreds of millions of dollars annually in salaries alone. But too often, planners and participants assume that the off-site, other than featuring a golf outing, is just another meeting. It’s not. It differs in critical respects from every other meeting that top leaders attend… A successful off-site can align executives, galvanize corporate performance, and strengthen the company’s position in its industry.” In our current environment, executives are at a loss of how to conduct offsite meetings to plan for the future when the current landscape is ever-changing. But, with a WFHotel bubble, you and your team can isolate yourselves from practically all outside forces and brainstorm in a way that feels nearly impossible when working remotely.



Our work from hotel partners are committed to providing every single touchpoint your team needs to get the creatives juices flowing. For instance, downtown at The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, the day begins with morning coffee before taking advantage of the Peloton bike access. After you’re caught up on email thanks to the high-speed WiFi, meet your team on the rooftop for daytime use of this open-air space. You’ll be provided with a curated Spotify playlist, on-site IT and AV Support, and kept well-fed thanks to in-office dining by Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio’s stellar team; we assure you, lunch with a view of the city has never felt better than it does here.


4. BRING THE KIDDOS (…OR, NOT?)


With so many students streaming classes remotely right now, there has never been a more opportune time to get the entire family out of the house and immersed into a new WFH/homeschooling routine. By making a city hotel your homebase, days can be maximized with meetings and instruction held throughout the morning and afternoon followed by exploration in the evening. For example, our European-based clients are finding refuge in staycations at preferred partners like Rosewood London. Brimming with centuries of history and boundless innovative energy, the capital never runs out of places to explore, or, you could simply stay cozy at the hotel and take a 2.5 hour, hands-on Pie Masterclass with Chef Calum where you will learn how to make one of his signature pastries.



And for the older kids in your tribe, making a family trip out of college sightseeing is always a strategic option. For instance, in cities like Boston–fraught with top choice universities–you can bunker down for a week to explore the various neighborhoods, restaurant scene and historic sites. By making Mandarin Oriental Boston, your homebase, you are centrally located to walk to Newberry Street for shopping and dining after a productive day of work from hotel in one of their newly appointed suites complete with views of the city. And while it should be implied at this stage of our ongoing discussion around responsible travel, it bears noting that the measures in place as a part of We Care program are just one example of how hotels are ensuring peace of mind for guests. In this case, guests can expect to have their temperature checked at the door of the property, elevators to be limited capacity, and dining outlets to be restricted to guests only, though, our favorite is always room service.



5. LEVEL UP…WAY UP (AS IN 30K FEET)


We’d be remiss not to end on a note of how you can upgrade this already luxe work from hotel experience. Should you and perhaps select members of your squad (colleagues and family members alike) wish to reduce your points of contact, flying private happens to be one of our specialties. SmartFlyer extends benefits from preferred partners in the private aviation space that offer even greater peace of mind; a recent study found that by arranging ground transportation to your nearest FBO and going directly to your property of choice, can reduce your trip down to just 30 points of contact versus up to 700 when flying commercial. The only question that remains is, are you ready to shift that ‘h’ in WFH from “home” to “hotel?” When you are, we’re here to help make it happen.


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We have partnered with SmartFlyer, a full-service travel agency catering to high-end customized itineraries for couples and families worldwide.

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Elena Borrero, SmartFlyer Travel Consultant, is a lifelong globetrotter who has visited more than 40 countries. With an initial no fee consultation, Elena’s strengths lie in getting to know her clients and executing detail-oriented, completely customized itineraries for couples and families. She specializes in luxury hotels and resorts, and her extensive industry network allows her to negotiate amenities, upgrades and VIP status for her distinguished client base. Through her decades of testing out hotspots first-hand, her product knowledge of beach destinations, Europe and even African safaris, she is well-versed to take on creating a trip in practically any corner of the world. Learn more about the benefits of working with Elena via website or email: Elena@smartflyer.com.

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