Seasoned business travelers are used to booking a place to sleep. But a couch in the lobby?

Now, some hotels are starting to manage visitors’ previously ad hoc use of seats, tables and nooks — and, in some cases, charging for it. For the hotels, the space has become an untapped source of additional revenue and new customers who live and work nearby.

Ms. Fisher said that paying to guarantee use of a suitable work space would be a worthwhile trade-off. “I could see myself using it or even my company taking advantage of it. We’re a small company and we have limited conference space,” she said. “I can see where they’d be O.K. with expensing that.”

Photo Credit: The lobby at Hotel Vetro in Iowa City. Alan Light / Flickr