Working in lounges and hotelsBack to Forum
Anonymous12 Jan 2016
Because an earlier meeting was cancelled, I found myself in the T4 Skyteam lounge with a couple of hours available for work. My email to the lounge manager was as follows:
“I have used your lounge in T4 dozens of times over the years, but only today – when I find myself in the lounge for a couple of hours, needing to work – have my thoughts about its unsuitability for work become completely clear.
It is woeful. There are no proper desks. There are workspaces on the lower level, on the opposite side of the display to the newspapers, but the chairs are non-adjustable, are set at a completely unphysiological height for writing or using a computer, and the canopy (no doubt “designed” by some designer) is it exactly the correct height to hit the head of the user. My head still hurts.
Directed by the staff – unfailingly helpful and charming as always – to the higher level, I find the corresponding area equipped with tiny work surfaces, no electrical power, and each with a built in computer no doubt intended for games. No space for serious work.
No doubt someone will say that there have been few or no similar complaints. Maybe potential complainers are just simply astonished by the unsuitability of the space for anything serious, other than the serious business of eating and drinking, and are gobsmacked into silence.”
Some lounges are good at providing work space but many are not. Does it bother other forum members?
Sinilarly, the suitability of hotel rooms for work is, for me, a crucial element. A smart-arse columnist in the London Times reported that the Marriott chain is removing desks from their rooms. She had no problem with this, choosing to write propped up in bed with her laptop on her knee. Sorry madam, my lumbar spine will not cope with that, I need a desk. If her report of the Marriott policy is correct, then I cease to use them.12 Jan 2016
I no longer rely on lounges to get work done. Nothing to do with lack of equipment or inappropriate design, though. The incalculable risk is human – if others decide to use the lounge as their personal command centre with loud phone calls, as a children’s playground or Party Central, it becomes unusable for my purposes. I’d rather sit on the floor in a quiet corner of the airport. For example, Schiphol has lots of quiet nooks and corners on the first floor. No free booze but plenty of peace and quiet.12 Jan 2016
DavidGordon10 – 12/01/2016 14:28 GMT
// the Marriott chain is removing desks from their rooms. If this is correct I will cease to use them//
Lot’s of time spent at hotel desks.
A proper workspace is essential.12 Jan 2016
Most of my on road work is via a computer, so a desk/table, whilst nice, is not really a major issue. The three important factors for me are a comfy chair, with decent back support, a plug point, although my current Toshiba ultra, easily lasts a full working day on battery and the ability to work on my computer, without anyone being able to overlook my screen. A nice view as appose to a blank wall is also preferable.
Airport lounges are not ideal… My longest lounge waits are usually at Frankfurt (BA lounge). There are work stations, but little screen privacy and the tables in the F lounge, very open. Some seats are not comfy enough to even sit in, never work on a computer on your knee.
I use SPG and LHW hotels and generally have found adequate and private work space…12 Jan 2016
The concept of having a ‘business centre’ with PCs that people can log onto is bygone now that most people carry at least one, and frequently multiple, devices that keep you in touch with work via email, phone, skype etc. Business centres should be replaced with working pods that provide privacy, power and space for those who have the time to set up and do some work using their own equipment.12 Jan 2016
Mr Darwin, I will use the business centre PC’s occasionally if I need to print. Email a document to Gmail account and then print it off…
Just as a warning though, I would NEVER print a client confidential document on ANY public computer which has an internal hard drive. Only print from old style desk top style printers…12 Jan 2016
@ MartynSinclair how about allowing you to connect to wireless printers to print documents straight from your laptop, iPad, phone or other device?
I’ve seen PCs in lounges running versions of Windows that Microsoft don’t even support anymore. I wouldn’t feel comfortable logging into my personal email on such PCs. The dubious security of using shared/public wifi is already enough of a risk.12 Jan 2016
I shall be in Madrid next week and was going to try the new Marriott Atrium, mentioned recently on BT. I looked at photos, and Tripadvisor and saw that there is table only, no desk. I shall stay at the Hilton.
I am self employed and spend at least 1-2 hours working in a hotel in the morning, and 2-3 hours in the evening. A table is not enough. A pity as I am Marriott Lifetime Gold but, if I can’t work I don’t earn….12 Jan 2016
Personally I don’t try to work in lounges or on aircraft – instead, I relax. To me, lounges are really unsuitable for work anyway – so I’m really sorry for anyone who has to, or wants to, work in them.
For hotels, I’ve found Sheratons to be good (maybe that’s just me, of course), The chain seems to me to give serious thought to the issue.12 Jan 2016
no desk in the hotel room would be a nightmare, as a consultant it is often important to respond to emails (that can’t be answered on a mobile device) or prepare the next day’s session in the evening (business travel is so glamorous) ……. a laptop balanced on one’s knee just wouldn’t work
As for the lounge, if I need to send anything it will be a quick exercise therefore the facilities are usually adequate (anyone engaged in a loud telephone call would receive disdainful looks of disgust)13 Jan 2016