International Hospitality Media (IHM), publisher of Boutique Hotel News (BHN), hosted its latest hospitality debate at the Minotti London showroom.
After a light cooked breakfast, Digby Summerhill, director of Minotti London, and Piers Brown, CEO of IHM, gave some brief introductions before handing over to IHM’s editor-in-chief George Sell to kick off the debate: Is 2021 going to be the new normal or back to normal for hospitality and office interiors? Or is WFH sustainable long term?
A motion for the debate was set: Space is being repurposed based on guests and office workers wellbeing and the changing environment around them – this is a short term fix.
Giles Fuchs, CEO of Office Space in Town, and Robert Ryan, property director at Techspace, proposed and opposed the motion respectively. Fuchs argued that the “water cooler moment” cannot be replaced via Zoom, and that as social animals we are more productive when collaborating in person. Ryan argued that flexible working will become the norm, and that offices will adapt to the needs of users by integrating elements such as showers, cycle storage, and play and rest zones.
The discussion was then opened up to the rest of the room, which comprised our most diverse audience yet: hotel owners, general managers, co-working operators, serviced apartment owner/operators, designers, developers and consultants.
Many were keen to share their opinions, and we heard a range of views from membership schemes, maximising the square metre of the office, the demographic of users, demand for nurseries, and changes in lease structure.
The socially distanced business breakfast was attended by representatives from Blue Orchid Hotels, Saxbury, Cuckooz Nest, Gleeds, Westin London Hotel, SUSD, 11 Cadogan Place, Meyer Davis, MKV Design, Eccleston Square Hotel, The Residences, Gerard Nolan and Partners, Brandfull and more.