We are travelling a lot. Most of the time we work while traveling as many digital nerds do. Hotel managers should be aware of that. A friend who organizes MICE in hotels told me: the rooms is not the problem, the main problem to find a place for a conference or seminar on online topics is the internet connection of the hotel. We sat together and talked about few typical cases for travellers working online. We do not mention single hotels here but for every point we would have a lot in any part of the world.
- There is no real desk: narrow board and you see yourself in the mirror. Made for women who want to put on makeup.
- Not enough sockets in the room, you have to unplug the TV or you have to disassemble the furniture to find the hidden plug. You decide whether to load the mobile or the computer.
- Internet per hour: the reception gives you internet-vouchers that are valid only one or two hours. Same applies when you have to login anew every hour. In most cases we need an internet connection for many hours without interruption.
- There is only internet in the lounge. If you want to work online, you have to sit among the checkout-waiting or beer drinking people that are eager to know what you do.
- No Internet at all: the hotel works totally analogue. Internet you can find in a café in two kilometres distance. The best of it: the hotel announced “free WIFI in all rooms”.
- Weak WIFI: you are landing in a room with maximum distance to the router. You place the seat near the door, to get at least a tiny WIFI signal. You do your work in front of the toilet door, where you placed a second seat for the computer…
- Horrible speed of internet. Good WIFI but a slow internet. The guests should get their E-Mails for few minutes and then log off, according to the plan. But more and more we need a stable online connection for hours. The neighbour tries to watch films over the internet. We experienced internet speed between 0.5 and 200 Mbit/s download direction. Sometimes 2 Mbit does the job if it is stable and reliable. If you have the same down and up speed, usually the downspeed is blocked. To find an online testing platform just search for “speed test” with google.
- E-Mail sending (SMTP) is blocked. Then you have to try WebMail to send your E-Mails. This can be annoying if you send a lot from several accounts.
- Services are blocked: Sometimes this is done by the hotel mostly it is due to the respective country. You do not get all amazon Services booked in Germany when you are in Turkey. For nationally blocked services hotels usually cannot do much. Offering an VPN connection to your country would be a good service. We usually have an own for work.
- The staff does not understand what you want: I have a positive example here. While traveling through Czechia I urgently needed a room and connection for an online conference. I stopped by at a hotel and within 10 minutes I had a room and a WIFI key. The receptionist immediately understood what I needed. Additionally, the hotel offered coffee and kept the room quiet. – I would say that 80% of all hotels would not able to cover something like that. Asking for internet and conference services usually produces a frown at the face of the clerk.
Our advice to hotel managers: Take the needs for working conditions an online infrastructure of your guests serious. Reviewing this would also part of the certification process.