Paris (75) From the 16th to the 20th of May, the two brands are offering a room for companies and their employees who can telecommute while participating in a few tennis matches. An original offer in a prestigious location, which was an immediate success. Meeting with Patrick Mends, Chief Commercial Officer of the Accor Group, responsible for sales, marketing, distribution, digital and loyalty activities, and Stphane Bensimon, CEO of Wojo, who takes stock of the development of coworking at Accor hotels.
Hospitality Catering : How many coworking jobs do you offer under Roland Garros?
Stphane Bensimon : Originally, 750 teleworkers were vacant, day or half day, from 16 to 20 May. They sold out in a matter of hours, so we added another 500. We also offer meeting rooms that can be privatized for businesses, in this rather exceptional environment, which is Roland-Garros. We knew our offer would be a success, but we were surprised at the rate at which seats were booked.
Do you want to continue developing coworking deals at Accor hotels?
Patrick Mends : We offer two types of seats in our hotels, spots, open seats for work for a few hours or for occasional telework and corners, which offer several services, for ordinary coworking. There are today 400 in the world; 300 in Europe and a hundred in South America. The idea is to develop these spaces all over the world and in all brands, from economy to luxury.
SB: To achieve this, we want to support managers and teams to work differently, because this is a new type of clientele, as well as owners, to help them transform their hotel, if necessary, and improve the occupancy of their space. . We also meet a great need for flexibility for companies that can no longer afford to rent offices with very long leases.
What is the benefit to hoteliers in offering this type of hotel accommodation?
PM: Coworking creates traffic in the establishment, where previously there were many peak times. This allows the establishment to live, there is nothing better for a hotel!
SB: We also realized that the fact of integrating a new offer created further interest for the employees, who developed their skills and learned a new job. Hotel brands have a very attractive lever for recruitment, based more on interpersonal skills than on know-how.
Where is the improvement in Accor hotels?
PM : There has been a real recovery in activity since March, which has happened faster than expected, with a change in the type of consumer: we welcome more leisure travelers than business travelers, 60 and 40% respectively, whereas these proportions were reversed before health crisis. In addition, we welcome more domestic and intra-regional customers, which has largely compensated for the absence of European and more distant business customers.
The second trend that we foresaw four to five years ago and that has accelerated with Covid is the growth of what we call increased hospitality: our hotels have become the right places to stay, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year , where customers enjoy a real welcome and safe places, restaurants, bars or rooftops, sports halls and a coworking offer, with space Wojo.
Wojo also offers fifteen coworking locations in France and Spain. What will be the next openings?
SB: We will open our largest square in September next year, in Ateliers Gait, next to Gare Montparnasse Paris. It will offer 1,500 workstations over 13,000 m2, and will be directly linked to Pullman Montparnasse, which was recently renovated and with which we work in conjunction. It will be a complete ecosystem consisting of hotel, restaurant, meeting rooms, foodcourt, sports halls, etc. close to a very busy station. I do not think it exists elsewhere.
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