Skift Take

More evidence that remote work is here to stay, with the world's biggest corporate travel agency now wanting to get in on the action.

Few opportunities exist to check into hotels at the moment, but employees frustrated by working from home now have more of a chance to book day passes to work, or meet colleagues, with a new platform from American Express Global Business Travel.

The corporate travel giant has launched a tool called Workspaces, to offer flexible options for home-based and remote employees, following a new partnership with Dublin-based Meetingsbooker.

The tie-up will give users of Amex GBT’s Meetings Express platform access to 150,000 properties, including hotels and co-working spaces, which are instantly bookable. The new venture will initially apply in the U.S.

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The options will include many of those hotels that have converted guestrooms into offices with desks, a growing trend as the pandemic continues to keep workplaces closed.

Last month, Leonardo Hotels teamed up with Spaces and Regus owner International Workplace Group to transform 2,000 square meters of hotel rooms to private offices at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in Amsterdam.

Regus has joined forces with Leonardo Hotels in Amsterdan to help convert bedrooms into offices.

Last summer, many hotel groups also began offering dedicating packages for remote workers, or teamed up with co-working providers. The trend could even start to impact the way houses are designed.

“We’re powering this new platform for Amex GBT, and enabling their clients to address this new distributed workforce environment that we’re all in,” said Ciaran Delaney, CEO and founder of Meetingsbooker.

“Since Covid hit, for the newer companies we’ve signed, a lot of this has been led by the real estate, human resources and procurement teams. The use case is more about how do we enable employees to connect”

Meetingsbooker also works with corporate travel agency Gray Dawes Group, in the UK.

More companies are also now exploring a “hub and spoke” approach to offices in the future, Delaney added.

“We all understand the value of face-to-face interactions, and that remote workers need to meet with colleagues, partners and customers, when and where they can do so safely,” said Wesley Bergstrom, vice-president, global supplier partnerships at Amex GBT. “And we recognize that remote workers sometimes need quiet space away from home, where they can work undisturbed.”

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Tags: american express global business travel, coronavirus, corporate travel, corporate travel management, meetings, remote work

Photo credit: Co-working spaces provider Wojo Spot at ibis Styles Gare de l'Est in Paris, France. Accor

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