Skift Take

Lifestyle hotel fans will get to mix business with pleasure in a lot more locations in the future, as Ennismore's "Working From_" brand is earmarked for the rest of its global portfolio. It's very on brand with partner Accor too.

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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Hospitality group Ennismore is planning to roll out its “Working From_” operation to all of its remaining hotel brands.

Currently just two of the group’s The Hoxton properties, located in London and Chicago, operate the co-working spaces that include flexible memberships for open desks and private offices across entire floors. But speaking at Skift Global Forum on Tuesday, founder and co-CEO Sharan Pasricha revealed he was rolling it out to other Ennismore hotels, which include Mondrian, Hyde and Mama Shelter.

“We’re taking the Working From_ brand, which has historically been linked to The Hoxton, and we’re going to take it across all of (our) brands,” he said. “You’ll find a Working From_ SLS, a Working From_ Mondrian, and what this brand will do is morph into the design ethos of that mother brand.”

Pasricha, who founded Working From_ in 2019, said it had been a “boomerang success.”

“Not only did 850 desks get sold in Southwark (London), we’ve got a waiting list of 400 people waiting to join,” he said at the forum, which took place in New York City on Sept 20-21.

The entrepreneur also thinks the mix of co-working, food-and-beverage and lifestyle lodging appeals to real estate partners. “Hotel owners like the diversification of revenue,” Pasricha added. “At our hotel (The Hoxton) in Southwark, you’ve got 40 percent of revenues coming from rooms, 30 percent from F&B (food and beverage,) and the rest from co-working.”

The move shouldn’t come as a surprise. Ennismore in 2020 joined forces with Accor, which has become one of the more bullish hoteliers when it comes to offering co-working across its portfolio through its Wojo venture.

A spokesperson for Ennismore told Skift it will be taking the key principles and learnings from its current Working From_ properties, and applying them to new developments within other brands within the Ennismore collective.

“We are looking at new opportunities and locations where Working From_ makes sense, including within other brands within the Ennismore collective,” they said.

Sidenotes

A senior exec at American Airlines recognizes the collective buying power of smaller companies when it comes to business travel, in particular companies with fewer than 100 staff.

Speaking at Skift Global Forum, Vasu Raja, chief commercial officer, noted the reduction in passengers from larger corporates flying business class, particularly with the absence of China routes.

“There are traditional business trips that aren’t coming back, but there’s an increase in blended trips,” he said.

In fact, in the past nine months he said blended trips had almost doubled.

“It’s interesting. When we look at those blended trips, disproportionately the customers who tends to be in blended trips are more likely to work at a business where there’s 100 or fewer employees,” he added.

“A lot of how aviation has thought about schedule sensitive or business-type travel, is we see the Fortune 500 companies, and think: that’s everything. But actually, there’s probably a few trillion dollars in economic output in the U.S. alone from companies of 100 people or fewer,” Raja said.

His comments reflect other experts pointing out that the corporate travel industry should pay closer attention to smaller companies.

“Everyone in the business travel industry has been talking about managed travel for small and medium-sized enterprises forever. It’s never worked,” Ben Alderman, head of financial, travel and accounting partnerships, told Skift. “No one has had any success, because it just doesn’t matter enough to (travel agencies) if they’re spending $50,000 or $100,000 a year on travel for them to manage that.”

That looks like it will change a lot sooner than later.

10-Second Corporate Travel Catch-Up

Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Air India, Expedia, Global Business Travel Association, Google, Hertz, Hong Kong, IHG, JetBlue, Marriott, Singapore.

In Brief

Placemakr Tests Out Tech With University Students

Hospitality platform and operator Placemakr has partnered with Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia to give students a chance to participate in the operation of Placemakr Marymount Ballston, its new 265-room mixed-use property.

It opens in the fall and will be available to students on the new Hospitality and Innovation MBA track. Students housed within the property also get access to perks such as discounted stays for visiting friends and family, optional add-on cleaning, laundry services and access to pet care services.

“This unique partnership with Marymount is extremely exciting to me because it allows us to have a hand in shaping some of the future leaders in our industry,” said Jason Fudin, CEO and co-founder of Placemakr. “By providing students with this type of experience working with commingled, tech-enabled properties early on, they’ll come out of school already with a leg up on their peers and an eye for innovative thinking.”

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Tags: accor, business travel, corporate travel, coworking, Future of Work Briefing, placemakr, remote work, Skift Global Forum 2022, skift live, Skift Pro Columns