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The effect remote work has on the hospitality industry

These past years of turbulence and advancements have brought unprecedented changes to industries of varying shapes, sizes, and services. Thanks to a well-observed butterfly effect caused by extreme global events, consumer behavior has also shifted dramatically – especially regarding affordability and utility. The latter leads us to the hospitality sector, which has been pushed to adapt to more modern business methodologies, including remote work.

More and more restaurants, hotels, and resorts are adapting to remote arrangements, with certain employees in supporting roles such as HR, IT, and Marketing taking advantage of the flexibility they are presented with. On the other end, clients are also looking to use places like hotels as improvised office spaces due to their remote working conditions.

In essence, we’re looking at a Wild West of customer-facing innovations and new dependencies on technology. That’s, of course, just the surface level – which is why we’re exploring the full impact of remote work on the industry today!

Forced and Rapid Adaptation

For the majority of their history, hotels have been defined by their on-site, man-driven operations. This fact remained unchanged until the post-pandemic world prompted a swift change toward technological reliance.

In other words, people had to adhere to health guidelines, which paved the way for contactless check-ins and online reservations.

What’s particularly lucrative about this shift is its improvement in streamlining business operations. Guests can now take advantage of a much more seamless experience while allowing employees to adapt to new communication tools. Depending on their job position, they don’t necessarily even have to be there physically.

Employee Wellness

Working in the hospitality industry can be draining – and that’s an understatement! Before the significant changes occurred, employee retention had been inconsistent throughout each sector. It’s not difficult to see why a healthy work-life balance was nonexistent for many employees back then.

However, remote work options have also given rise to new job roles, such as facilitators and planners. In addition, retention rates are far better for certain customer service positions that don’t require on-site activity, such as consultants and reservation agents. It goes without saying that we have technology to thank once again for aiding this process.

Over the years, we’ve had our fair share of tech-related projects with clients in the hospitality field, and we’ve made great strides in deploying actionable IT strategies and scaling them to fit our client’s needs. When implementing streamlined environments, what stood out the most was the increased employee productivity and improved efficiency, which (again) coincides with their overall satisfaction.

Unforeseen Innovation

We’ve already mentioned the implementation of remote check-in and check-out options, but that’s only scratching the surface. Guests have more options than ever, thanks to the added inclusions of mobile apps and virtual concierge services. The latter is notably exciting, as they don’t just streamline communication with clients – virtual concierge integrations also pave the way for vastly personalized services, especially in hotels.

Numerous establishments have also experimented with virtual events. For example, some hotels offer remote tours, virtual cooking classes, and fitness classes, to name a few. Furthermore, this fits nicely alongside the steady repurposing of hotel spaces into temporary office setups. It helps that most of these unorthodox workspaces were already equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi and ergonomic furniture to begin with!

New Challenges and Opportunities

To thrive, businesses must take in the good with the bad, or in this case – the challenging. Despite the benefits we’ve covered so far, remote work implementation still has a long journey ahead of it. Sustainability is a particular concern, notably with companies focusing on maintaining a sense of community within their business model.

Like with other remote models often seen in IT and marketing firms, the geographically dispersed teams can be somewhat of a stumbling block to the company’s daily operations – albeit not exceptionally so. There are still plenty of options for building solid relationships and fostering positive work habits, and they all involve virtual communication.

Moreover, training and onboarding can be potential hurdles, especially for roles more suited to in-person interactions. As you read this, numerous hotels, restaurant chains, and travel agencies are finding innovative ways to provide two important things to their soon-to-be employees: comprehensive training and mentorship. Of course, they’re not easy; nothing ever is. However, if employers are willing to sink in the time, it is more than guaranteed to pay off in the long run.

A Sustainable Work Model That’s Proving Its Worth

In such a rapidly changing world, the prospect of remote work can open new doors to exciting opportunities for businesses and employees alike – as long as people are willing to put in the effort. Tapping into the diversity of global talent can net organizations diverse workers who can provide their own unique input to the table of old ideas and cyclical solutions.

Because of this, it doesn’t take much looking to notice the drastic shifts taking place in the hospitality industry. For prosperity’s sake, this new reality must be embraced, particularly by those whose operations are becoming increasingly dependent on software. While ironing out the wrinkles may take some time, the improvements in employee retention, flexibility, and readjustments toward client satisfaction make it all the more enticing.

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