The working world has changed dramatically in recent years, with the rise of remote work and the growing popularity of digital nomadism since COVID-19. In fact, reports indicate that as many as 35 million people worldwide have adopted this lifestyle. These work-from-anywhere individuals, who are free from the constraints of a traditional office, have an appetite for new and exciting places to work and socialise, presenting a huge opportunity for the hospitality industry to cater to their unique needs.
The UAE’s Receptiveness to Digital Nomads
In particular, the UAE has taken a welcoming approach to digital nomads, recognising their potential to contribute to the country’s economy and vibrant culture. In response to the global pandemic, the UAE introduced a Remote Working visa scheme in March 2021, the first Middle Eastern digital nomad visa. This allows people to live and work remotely for one year while enjoying various benefits that the UAE has to offer, including the quality of life, climate, and geographic location. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the UAE is ranked as the top global destination for digital nomads and remote workers, according to Savills. This will help to continue to boost the UAE’s economy, with the hospitality sector playing a pivotal role in this growth.
Creating a Workspace Haven
Hotels have a crucial responsibility to create a space that meets the requirements of these digitial nomads. Providing them with a workspace that is both comfortable and productive is vital. This means having “zoom-friendly” lighting (no unflattering overhead lights please), ergonomic desks and chairs, plenty of plug sockets, and, most importantly, reliable Wi-Fi. Hotels should also consider offering day passes and create inviting co-working spaces to accommodate remote workers in the local area who are seeking a change of scenery from their home office (aka their bed).
Designing Co-working Spaces for Collaboration and Community
So, how can you create an inviting and productive co-working space? Here are some elements to consider:
Individual workstations: Sufficient desk space for people to work independently, equipped with comfortable seating, and power sources.
Meeting rooms: A variety of meeting room sizes to accommodate group discussions and brainstorming sessions.
Soundproof booths: Essential for individuals who need to take a private phone call or virtual meeting.
Shared amenities: Things like printers, scanners, and whiteboards to facilitate collaborative work.
Breakout areas: Designated spaces for casual conversations, relaxation, and social interaction.
Appealing to the Digital Nomad Aesthetic
If you’re looking to create an aesthetic which typically appeals to remote workers, opt for a modern and minimalist style. Here are some of our design suggestions:
Functional and uncluttered: Avoid excessive furniture and décor that can make the workspace feel cramped and distracting.
Natural materials: Incorporate natural materials like wood, stone, and textiles in neutral colors to create a calming and contemporary atmosphere.
Industrial chic accents: Incorporate exposed brick walls, sleek metal accents, and warm lighting for a more laid-back vibe.
Bring the outside in: Along with many other benefits, plants can help to reduce levels of anxiety, stress, and fatigue as well as improve cognitive functioning and productivity.
Make it your own: And don’t forget to add in some of your brand personality through little touches, graphics and artwork.
One co-working space that appeals particularly well to the digital nomad aesthetic is The Study situated in Zabeel House by Jumeirah the Greens. While this space is very homely and cozy, remote workers won’t compromise their productivity as they’ll have access to printing, photocopying and IT services, as well as ample caffeinated beverages. Don’t just take our word for it, check it out yourself.
Catering to the Bleisure Needs of Digital Nomads
We covered the “work hard”, but what about the “play hard” bit? Digital nomads are looking for more than just a place to grind; they want an experience beyond the working hours. This means offering amenities and services that encourage relaxation and socialisation. This includes fitness centers, rooftop terraces, and of course dining options. Whether it's grabbing a quick coffee and snack, enjoying a leisurely sit-down lunch, having a drink after work, or socialising over a lively dinner, hotels can enhance the overall experience of these guests by offering a range of dining options tailored to their lifestyle.
By embracing the digital nomad trend and adopting a day into night mindset, hotels can attract this growing clientele, boost their revenue, and position themselves as the hub for the “work-from-anywhere” community. The hospitality sector has a remarkable opportunity to create an oasis for digital nomads, fostering a thriving environment that attracts new talent and drives economic growth.
If you would like more tips on how to design co-working spaces and other hotel amenities for digital nomads, get in touch to chat to our interior designers.
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