Comfortable Desk, Adjustable Chair and Adequate lighting.
Today the line between our work and our personal life has become very blurred, and we tend to be working longer hours often just trying to keep on top of that e-mail. This means that both business and leisure guests may need to work from their hotel room.
As hoteliers we need to make it comfortable and easy to do this in our guest rooms.
What is a Functional Work Area?
Think about what your guests will do in the work area. Many will use their computer. Is there enough room for their lap top including mouse and paperwork? Can they readily access the Internet from the desk? Is there easy access to power for their laptop and phone at the very least. The phone will most probably have a transformer so you need to ensure power outlets are well spaced apart.
Does an external mouse work on the desk surface? Some beautiful glass desk tops are a nightmare when it comes to using a mouse.
Is there a window nearby? Will it reflect off a computer screen making it hard to read? Do you have sheer curtains that can be pulled across if needed?
Can the guest easily see the TV from the desk? Will the remote control for the TV work from the desk?
Comfortable Desk and Adjustable Chair
Sit at the desk and chair yourself. It may look gorgeous but is it comfortable? Can you fit your legs under the desk? Are the desk and chair height appropriate for one another? Can you adjust the chair? At the least adjust height, being able to adjust the back is a much appreciated bonus to offer guests and can greatly add to comfort.
Aesthetics are important throughout a hotel but if there is a compromise between aesthetics and comfort and functionality – when it comes to the work area, comfort and functionality should win over aesthetics.
What is Adequate Lighting?
The lighting needs to be appropriate to easily read emails off a computer screen and small print in a newspaper. This needs to be appropriate at night with curtains drawn and during the day.
If the work area gets a lot of natural light during the day, you may require sheer curtains to reduce the glare.
A good overhead light is also required so that the guest can work at the desk at night. A desk lamp alone doesn’t provide enough light but is a nice addition. However the lamp should be powerful to allow the guest to easily read small newspaper print and read off a computer screen. Too often the lamp provided only provides mute soft lighting, Don’t forget, this desk lamp will require power but you still must ensure that there are ideally four power outlets available to the guest at desk height.
I would encourage every hotel General Manager to work from one of their rooms for the day as a perfect way for them access if they are providing their guests with a practical and comfortable work area.