Skift Take

Hotel group Accor has big ambitions in Asia for its co-working brand Wojo. But it probably shouldn't count on the region rolling out the red carpet for remote workers.

Series: Future of Work

Future of Work

As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.

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Accor is gearing up for a “full-blast” launch of its co-working space brand Wojo in Asia. Wojo is a joint venture with Bouygues Immobilier, which it developed in 2015. The French property developer teamed up with the hotel group in 2017, and currently some 300 Accor properties in a few European countries and Brazil provide offices, co-working spaces or “Wojo Spots” — these are essentially Wi-Fi areas in lobbies or other public spaces. In the UK, it’s also on trend transforming rooms into offices. Now, Accor’s deputy CEO and chief financial officer wants to pursue Asia. “The place where we would like to push this is Asia. We’re big in Asia, but currently because of Covid it’s difficult to push that offer,” Jean-Jacques Morin told Skift. “There are regions we had been working in before Covid. As soon as things normalize this summer, we’re going to go full blast.” The company had expected to expand Wojo to 900 properties by 2023, but Morin thinks he can top this. “The demand is strong, you just need better visibility without Covid. There is pent-up demand,” he said. Follow the Money Accor will take a leaf out of IWG’s book by going for the big companies. IWG, which operates brands including Regus and Spaces, recently signed a deal with technology company NTT to give 300,000 employees worldwide access to its co-working spaces. “We’re pitching to large companies in France, helping them understand how we can be an alternative solution for their employees. They’re very interested,” Morin said. “Companies want to reduce the cost of real estate by 10 to 20 percent. This is part of the solution.” Morin was talking to Skift from Accor’s large Paris headquarters, which i