Work From Hotel: Japan Will Turn Empty Hotel Rooms Into Remote Offices

Good idea? Bad idea?
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We’re learning a lot about how we work because of the pandemic. Lesson No. 1: We can do almost everything from home. Lesson No. 2: We can do all these things better while dressed in PJs. Lesson No. 4: We don’t need The Boss Man to breathe down our necks to function. Lesson No. 8: Working from home is a reality—not a trend.

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As reluctant managers squirm in their two-bedroom apartments (what will they do now?), the work-from-home paradigm evolves. In Japan, remote workers will soon be able to book an empty hotel room as their remote office. Think of it as WFH 2.0—work from hotel.

According to Kyodo News, IT and electronics company NEC and travel agency JTB are teaming up for the service, which will launch on August 31 in Tokyo. Already, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo, Oakwood Premier Tokyo, and Ueno Terminal Hotel have joined the remote working initiative.

NEC will come up with the system for both workers (for booking a room online) and hotels (for offering rooms), while JTB will be in charge of enticing hotels to join the program and encouraging companies that are looking for remote offices to consider the hotels. By March 2021, the pair plans to expand to Nagoya and Osaka and include 30 hotels, and by March 2022, they’re looking at countrywide adoption with 50 hotels joining the WFH plan.

Rates also seem good: 15 minutes for “meeting and party rooms” start at Y200 (around P93 pesos), while three hours in a guest room begins at Y3,000 (around P1,400).


Of course, with the ever-rising targets of the Big Machine, that 15 minutes or three hours can easily bleed into a full day.

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?

For those who require a separate space, one that is away from a naughty toddler, a nosy grandmother, and a slobbering Labradoodle, this is a great solution. Author Roald Dahl famously had a writing hut (a brick hut in his garden), where he retreated to create fantasies without being disturbed. We know how that turned out: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, and so on.

And for hotels that are faced with the problem of little to no reservations because no one is traveling right now, the system is a lifeline, a way to restart their ailing business.

But here are important questions: Will our work-from-hotel stay come with a complimentary lunch buffet? If so, how will we function after 2 p.m when the food coma kicks in?

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Clifford Olanday
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