Why work from home when you can work from Westport?
That’s the question being asked by one four-star hotel, which has a new package designed to tempt remote workers to the Wild Atlantic Way.
The ‘Work from Westport’ package includes five nights’ B&B, dinner on two evenings and access to a shared digital hub with socially distanced workstations, high speed Wi-Fi, shared printer and scanner and a coffee machine from €350 per person sharing, or €450 for a single room.
Guests can upgrade to private office space connecting to a bedroom from €450pps, or €525 for a single room. Shorter packages are available, too.
“We understand that working from home every day can be wearing and become repetitive, and we are excited to offer a safe and work-friendly experience,” said Barry O’Connor, the hotel’s Chief Executive.
The packages mean “to combine work and wellness” he added, with guests getting access to the hotel’s 400-acre estate, pool and leisure centre.
It comes as the coronavirus pandemic sees millions of office workers all over the world either required or opting to work remotely.
Since last Friday, Dubliners are advised to “work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person” under Level 3 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid-19.
As occupancy rates plummet, hotels have also been looking at ways to get creative – including offering vacant rooms as office spaces.
In Co Meath, for example, Dunboyne Castle has been renting bedrooms as workspaces from €35 per day, providing guests with Wi-Fi, a desk and a private bathroom.
Before the pandemic, many hotels had been evolving their lobby spaces to accommodate both leisure and working guests, who could often be spotted hunched over laptops or fielding calls through headphones.
Others had been exploring daytime rental of rooms as offices.
Global chain TFE offers “day use” rooms in Sydney from $75, for example, including full use of facilities like pools from 9am to 5pm.
In Downtown LA, Hotel Figuera is similarly offering suites as part of its “Fig Work Perks’ programme. They can be rented from nine-to-five with parking, Wi-Fi, printing and hotel amenities included from around $140.
Global usage of apps like Daycation and sites like DayBreakHotels.com and DayUse.com is also up as ‘daycations’ grow as a 2020 travel trend.
Many may now see an opportunity to further target local workers looking to improve their work/life balance, or who just want somewhere to “go to work” after months staying at home.
“A change of scene and no interruptions,” as author Zoë Miller tweeted of Dunboyne Castle’s offer this summer. “Much needed after the last few (cabin fever) months.”
In attracting workers for office space, of course, hotels also boost the chances of spend on things like lunches, coffees, spa treatments or other amenities.
By the sounds of it, Hotel Westport is already thinking that way.
“Book a massage during your lunch break or enjoy special post-work perks such as a walk on the beautiful 400-acre estate, hire a bike for the evening or do a yoga class at the Yoga Root to unwind,” it says.