Office space with hospitality in mind. The newest trend in office space design.

The latest initiatives aimed at revitalizing office space have led to the emergence of a transformative trend that is reshaping the design landscape of workplaces across the nation.


April 18, 2024 (HOUSTON) – In the current era of office leasing, marked by a prolonged wave of employees resisting the return to the office post-pandemic, many companies and landlords are resolutely committed to integrating upscale features and amenities into their office spaces, striving to enhance the appeal of on-site workdays. While this emerging trend has been on the climb increasingly within the last year, an official term for this revolution has just recently materialized. The trend is now known as “the hotelization” of office space and entails the curation of workplace environments that simulate the atmosphere you can find in a high-end hotel.

Gone are the days when office spaces were characterized by plain finishes, dull colors, and uninspiring lighting. Although many offices still maintain this outdated aesthetic, a growing number remains empty. The reality is that, with the rise of remote work, there’s a pressing need to rethink office design, focusing on enhancing the experience of those who use the space. It’s not just about creating a positive atmosphere; it’s about fostering excitement and anticipation among tenants as they arrive each day. This sense of excitement, akin to stepping into a luxury hotel, lies at the heart of the “hotelization” movement.

Some may question how to integrate hotel-like features into an office environment while still prioritizing productivity. In essence, even seemingly minor additions such as ambient lighting instead of harsh fluorescent lights can significantly enhance the workspace. Nearly any sensory element commonly found in hotels – whether it’s appealing textures, soothing scents, or even calming music – can be adapted for office use to engage the senses and boost efficiency provided it is appropriate for the workplace.

Ultimately, while the people and culture within a workplace are paramount, they are likely to flourish even more in an office environment that promotes hospitality and collaboration. Features such as a café adorned with moody tones and welcoming lounge areas represent the more intricate aspects of a hotelization initiative but can undeniably improve upon the atmosphere of an empty office building lobby. An example of taking this concept to an even greater extreme, is the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Going above and beyond with attention to detail, they’ve created a lounge that mirrors a ski lodge in the mountains of Montana, offering visitors the sensation of embarking on a brief getaway during the workday.

In the foreseeable future, both tenants and landlords must remain flexible and ready to embrace the emerging trend of creating luxurious office spaces to align with the ongoing paradigm shift. Undoubtedly, the greatest challenge lies in efficiently managing the costs associated with enhancing the overall ambiance of office spaces. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the current market landscape is vastly different from what it was before the pandemic, necessitating a fresh approach to office design and management.

Lee & Associates – Houston Research