Rooms at the Copthorne Hotel have been converted to office space in pursuit of a fresh revenue stream. PHOTO/ARTHUR HAWKES

ARTHUR HAWKES
arthur.hawkes@age.co.nz

The Copthorne Hotel in Solway has opened its doors to office workers, in a bid to drive up revenue after the lockdown.

All over the world, rentable working spaces have responded to an increasingly mobile, dislocated workforce, with many people now working in independent enterprise, or in roles that don’t use a centralised office at all.

After covid-19, it is thought this demand could increase even more, particularly in Wairarapa, where commuters dodging reduced capacity trains to Wellington have found working at home was easily accommodated.

In Auckland this February, New-York-based company WeWork opened its first New Zealand branch, adding to 848 private office sites that service about 600,000 independent workers worldwide.

In Carterton, 3Mile offers a coworking space.

Copthorne Hotel said they had plans to offer a similar service, with private rooms available in the hotel for those wanting a change in scenery from working at home, or at the local coffee shop.

“We had seen a couple of hotels in Wellington doing a similar thing, so that’s where we got the idea,” Copthorne sales and marketing manager Stevie Turner said.

“With 102 rooms, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to find another source of income at this time.

“With everyone working from home not being able to go to the office, we thought we could set up the rooms as little ‘offices’.

“We’re doing it all in our hotel rooms, so it’s our normal accommodation but we’ve taken out the bed.

“The rooms have tea and coffee making facilities, a TV, a little couch, and they’ve got their own private ensuite bathrooms.

“You could hold private meetings in them, or you could work by yourself in them.

“We’ve also got a lounge and communal area, but with all the restrictions at the moment, we’ve got lots of things in place that mean you can’t be within a metre of each other.

“We have our Grill restaurant open as well, so if you’re still working at 5 or 6 o clock, you can order room service from the Grill menu, and then have it delivered.”