The phrase “digital nomad” has been in circulation for quite some time. Though it originally applied to individuals who chose to self-employ with the power of digital technology, its meaning in today’s world has metamorphosed thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In modern times, a digital nomad can basically refer to anyone that works remotely. Prior to recent circumstances, remote work was a privileged exception, but it has now become a rule of law. Of course, it has proven to be incredibly resilient.
As with nearly all trends in the history of human civilization, it often takes a total catastrophe before net-positive change can be implemented across the board. An increasing number of workers now vote to stay remote not out of requirement, but because it provides so many obvious benefits to their lifestyle in comparison to the former standard.
The rise of the digital nomad promotes implications for a wide gamut of industries. Yet, it is a matter of special attention for small hotels. To benefit here, hospitality executives should tap into the mindset and ensure that the property appeals to such a rapidly growing demographic.
Safety and Health
The first element of consideration for small hotels when attempting to attract digital nomads includes ensuring that all safety and health policies are up to date. This is due to the fact that remote workers are fully aware of the dangers posed by the pandemic and consequently revere the facilities that allow them the most sanitary experience.
For small hotels, this pretty much boils down to investing in the proper technology and ensuring that all health protocols are in line with common precautions found just about everywhere. Remote kiosks for check-in, handwashing, masks, and regularly scheduled application of disinfectants on public surfaces.
The Importance of Workspaces
Digital nomads, pandemic or not, work from their laptops — a privilege that allows them freedom of location. Therefore, a hotel in their eyes is observed as a space that melds leisure and work together. This presents a perfect opportunity to set a given resort apart by developing spaces that offer the ability to relax and work at the same time.
Several good examples include the following:
- An array of comfortable seating arrangements
- Elegant work surfaces
- Sufficient access to electrical outlets for all manners of devices
- Non-data capped high-speed internet
Small hotels should not operate under the unfounded assumption that digital nomads spend their days gazing out of the windows of lobbies and swilling coffee while handling the responsibilities of their work-related tasks. Many desire the privacy of their rooms, so they must be well-suited for such a task. Consider the below:
- Modern desks
- Sufficient options for lighting
- Larger pots for coffee
- Ample charging stations including but not limited to USB outlets
A touch of luxury…without the price tag
To further tap into the mindset, technology investments extending beyond automated kiosks can help.
Consider door locks that are smartphone-enabled or invest into heating capability for outdoor seating areas to be used during the colder months. Finally, given the fact that digital nomads spend almost all of their time sitting, it helps to include world-class office chairs for all the rooms to truly make an impression.
Try to remove unwanted barriers that can make any kind of customer, let alone a digital nomad, look at competitors. If a small hotel has a no-pets policy, it could be revised to attract the kinds of travelers that spend so much of their time away from home.
There are also many other ways to lower restrictions on the space inside and outside of a hotel. For instance, the installation of a playground or park behind the given property could make for a potential option.
To truly garner the highest degree of interest in a space that could temporarily house a digital nomad for longer than expected, hotels should focus the majority of their consideration on pricing.
- Provide the option for long-term rates: Combined an extended stay deal with the correct amenities, safety protocols, and technology can have a traveler staying for several weeks or even as long as a month.
- Offer Add-Ons: Given the craving that digital nomads have for entirely unique experiences, providing excursions, special in-house service packages, free food delivery, and so much more will tempt customers to stay longer
Only The Beginning
Remote work is here to stay. For small hotels, it is now more critical than ever to become the premier destination for long-term travelers.