The hospitality industry is recognized for its exceptional focus on the client experience. Throughout the last century, the industry has optimized guest satisfaction leading to enhanced loyalty and brand recognition. Known for creating memorable client experiences, the hospitality sector provides valuable insights into improving the employee experience. By drawing parallels between these two domains, workplaces can unlock the secrets to increased talent attraction and retention, heightened productivity, and enhanced employee engagement. Continue reading to learn more about how companies can introduce hospitality design into the workplace to improve the office experience, viewing employees as valued guests.
Themes from the hospitality industry that can be applied in the workplace.
The need for improved workplaces has prompted an increased interest in more captivating office experiences, compelling employers to step up and go above and beyond to create conditions that appeal to today’s workforce. Just as hospitality businesses prioritize guest satisfaction to create memorable experiences, workplaces should prioritize their employees to foster a positive work environment. Here are five hospitality design themes that can help bolster your workplace:
1. Hospitality Design: Strong First Impressions
When a client, guest, or potential employee walks through the door, the reception serves as their first point of contact. The reception area establishes one’s first impression of the company and brand and will set the tone for the experience within the workspace. The hospitality industry, particularly hotels, is recognized for its thoughtfully designed reception area partnered with exceptional receptionist service. This outstanding customer care and design embraced by hotels creates an atmosphere of warmth and professionalism, leaving a lasting positive impression. Design details such as comfortable seating, aesthetically pleasing décor, calming lighting, and high-quality details can make guests feel welcome and valued the moment they arrive, ensuring a positive experience.
The workplace can take inspiration from the hospitality industry, adopting strategies to improve the reception area for employees, clients, and visitors alike. Implementing a design that promotes a sense of hospitality and professionalism can help build a positive work environment.
Check out Richards Buell Sutton‘s reception space, which features a welcoming reception desk, comfortable upholstered seating, a fireplace and a kitchenette to offer refreshments for guests.
2. Hospitality Design: Warm, welcoming, and comfortable
Workplaces are known for their cold, uninviting, and rigid atmosphere. Cubicles lining the inner corridors with dim and dreary lunchrooms are commonplace, leaving staff to opt out of working from the office full-time. In contrast, the hospitality industry excels at crafting spaces with a warm, welcoming, and comfortable ambiance. Establishments are designed to meet guests’ functional needs and offer a memorable experience, encouraging guests to return. From the soothing colour palettes to the carefully selected furnishings, every element is curated to evoke a sense of approachability and relaxation. Companies can focus on designing spaces that prioritize comfort and functionality to implement this inviting ambiance.
- Utilize neutral colours that take inspiration from the natural world.
- Experiment with natural fibres and muted colours to soothe the senses.
- Introduce lounge areas with soft seating that encourages staff to relax.
- Consider applying various flooring materials such as rug, tile, and hardwood to create an inviting aesthetic.
Check out Westland Insurance‘s new head office, which exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The design concept for the project is “inspiring and approachable’ and takes several cues from the hospitality industry. From a neutral colour scheme to natural lighting to soft and muted textures, every design feature intends to create a sense of comfort and openness.
3. Hospitality Design: Focusing on the end user with a personalized experience
Personalized service is highly valued within the hospitality industry. Guests’ preferences and needs are considered at every touch point, and tailored experiences are provided, increasing the client experience. Unfortunately, many workspaces have been designed or developed without considering the end user.
Employers frequently create workplaces based on what they believe their team needs rather than what they require and want. Moreover, workers’ needs and aspirations are rarely identical. This may be why businesses do their employees a disservice by providing a one-size-fits-all employee experience. Instead, companies may take a cue from the hospitality sector and focus on the tailored employee experience. Adapting incentives, perks, work arrangements, and processes to the preferences and requirements of the person. Furthermore, it entails treating each employee as an individual and creating an experience that matches their personal objectives and aspirations, demonstrating to employees that the firm values their talent and is devoted to their growth and development.
4. Hospitality Design: Health and Wellness
An increasingly growing movement within the workplace design community is the need for more health and wellness initiatives. As staff return to the office, more and more companies are noticing the benefits of investing in employee well-being. When an employee’s health and well-being are prioritized, companies see a positive impact on work culture, reduction in burnout, higher retention rates, and a more engaged workforce. Here are some ways that the hospitality industry has incorporated health and wellness that can also be applied to the workplace:
- Many hotels and resorts offer fitness centers, swimming pools, spa facilities, and wellness programs to encourage guests to prioritize their health during their stay. Companies can introduce on-site wellness programs such as fitness classes, mindfulness workshops, or meditation sessions to promote employee health and reduce stress.
- Hotels often have designated areas for relaxation and meditation, providing guests with a calm and stress-free environment. Companies can introduce a wellness room within the workspace to provide employees with a dedicated area for relaxation, meditation, or quiet time.
- Hotels always ensure guests have comfortable beds and quiet environments. Similarly, companies can provide ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, and comfortable workspaces to support employees’ physical health, ensuring a safe and comfortable workspace.
Check out PayByPhone‘s wellness-forward office space. The workplace features a heavy biophilic presence with a stunning preserved plant wall. The office also offers a meditation room that also serves as a prayer area and mothering space.
5. Hospitality Design: Centralized hubs to build community
Similar to hotels containing lobby areas, bars, and restaurants to promote connection and socialization, the workplace can also incorporate this theme to foster a strong company culture. Employees feeling disconnected from one another, the company, or its goals can adversely affect a business. A weak company culture can lead to decreased employee morale, higher turnover rates, reduced productivity, and a lack of alignment with organizational goals, ultimately impeding growth and success. Shared common areas throughout the workplace can serve as collaboration spaces where employees from different departments and levels can interact, connect, and share ideas, creating a more integrated and inclusive work environment.
Centralized socialization hubs can also make organizing events and initiatives that nurture company culture easier. Town hall meetings, team-building events, or training sessions, for example, can be conducted inside the workplace to allow leadership to address the entire workforce, fostering inclusion and alignment with the company’s goal.
Check out Graymont‘s head office, which offers numerous areas for employees to work, interact, socialize, and connect. The workspace includes a conference center with touchdown workstations and serves as a location for more extensive team meetings. Furthermore, the renovated lunchroom and staff lounge are intended to promote small casual gatherings and more significant team functions.
What this means for businesses
As we return to the office, we understand that there are areas for improvement. The workplace may thrive as a restoration and dynamic space by emphasizing the employee experience and borrowing inspiration from hospitality-inspired design. Companies may improve their workplaces by adopting the concepts that make the hospitality business successful, resulting in better talent acquisition and retention, increased productivity, and enhanced employee engagement.
Remember that just as hotels strive to provide unique customer experiences, businesses that value their workers’ well-being and comfort will succeed in today’s competitive business world. Embrace the lessons from the hospitality industry, and watch your workplace transform into a hub of success and satisfaction for employees and clients.
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