Working from home has certain perks, but many also are growing weary of it. Employees are tired of being confined to the four walls of their home office. People are tired of kids, pets, and roommates interrupting them at the most inconvenient moments. They are tired of the isolation from their colleagues, with whom they used to spend the most waking hours. And they are tired of the same-old work routine, day in and day out.

Scientific studies also show that having all our meetings via a videoconferencing tool is hindering our business relationships, productivity, and well-being.

Organizations understand the value of face-to-face meetings and the need for employees to have a break from their at-home work environment, whether it’s some time escaping domestic distractions on their own or connecting with colleagues, partners, and customers in person when it’s safe to do so.

Because a lot of companies have not yet reopened their offices or have reduced their corporate space, many are looking for flexible workspace options where they can send their employees when working from home just isn’t getting the job done. As a result of this growing demand, hotel groups and meeting venues have been optimizing the use of their inventory by offering spaces for solo or small sessions during the day. This includes guest rooms, suites, and common areas.

So how can office-less employees who need to arrange a workspace or small meeting secure these types of spaces? Well, that’s where we come in. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has developed a new booking solution called Workspaces that allows individuals and small teams to search for and book locations in their local vicinity that promote productivity. We’re thrilled to share more details about this new offering and address some questions you may have.

Q. So tell me, what exactly is Workspaces?

A. Workspaces is a user-friendly, mobile-responsive booking platform that lets employees book a place for up to 10 people to work or meet for however long they like at a hotel, meeting venue, or other unique working space. These spaces are conducive for work, meaning you’ll enjoy total peace and quiet in a comfortable setting, reliable Wi-Fi that won’t cut out because of a gamer in your household overloading the connection, and a snack and coffee at your desk without being responsible for the dirty dishes.

Q. Oh my, is this implementation and booking process going to be complicated?

A. Not at all. After providing us with a few company details and confirming you agree to a few standard terms, you will receive a registration link to send to your employees. Once they’ve registered, they can begin using the platform to search for content, view each property’s description, and compare rates for each option based on their needs. Venue types include everything from hotels and restaurants to cultural and business centers and the descriptions also include COVID-19 safety policies. Once an employee has made a booking, all they need to do is show up and get down to business. You can even provide a form of payment for employees or allow them to use individual cards.

Q. Where in the world are your workspaces located?

A. Through our partner Meetingsbooker.com, we have an inventory of over 150,000 spaces globally and growing. We’ve also added working locations that we’ve procured directly through our hotel supplier partners. The meeting spaces can be in guestrooms with desks, converted suites, and small meeting rooms in hotels or other non-hotel locations, like well-known coworking spaces. When booking, employees will be able to see all the details of the space to decide which one works best for their needs.

Q. Who would benefit from using Workspaces?

A. We’ve designed the service to meet the needs of employees who seek safe, productive, and clean places to work and companies that need controllable and cost-efficient options for their staff to get together where office use is restricted.

Some situations in which people would benefit from such a service include:

  • Individuals who need a break from the distractions at home (e.g., the kids, pets, or construction).
  • Employees whose home office setup isn’t presentable for an important meeting (e.g., employees living in major cities with limited space).
  • Sales professionals who know that the best way to pitch a product is in person.
  • A few employees collaborating on a project who brainstorm best when face-to-face.
  • Business travelers who are arranging meetings and heading back home the same day.

Q. What if I need to arrange a meeting for more than 10 people?

A. In this situation, we advise you to use our Meetings Express™ platform, which we launched in 2019 to provide clients an online tool to book and track small and simple meetings.

This can include hotel rooms, unique venues, or restaurants. For more information or to schedule a demo, send an email to meetingsexpress@amexgbt.com.

Q. Tell me about the good stuff – what kind of amenities are included?

A. We collaborated with key suppliers to get the best deals and perks for our clients. At hotel properties, this may include discounts on food, beverages, and parking, free bottled water, and access to fitness centers and other facilities so employees can enjoy a workout or dip in the pool once they are done with business. Clients using Workspaces can also benefit from preferential rates and terms from our hotel partners. We’ve made all these perks easily visible using icons on the search results.

Q. How does the payment process work?

A. Workspaces can be configured for prepayment utilizing a meeting card or pay on your own using a corporate card. Payment is charged at the time of booking confirmation, so there is no hassle upon arriving at your booked location. Cancellation policies vary just like regular hotel bookings and so rooms are refundable until the cancellation deadlines. The great thing is, the tool aggregates content and enables clients to keep bookings within the corporate travel program, giving you total visibility on spend and employee activity.

Q. So wait, is GBT charging any fees for this service?

A. Nope. Right now, GBT is not charging any implementation or transaction fees. Your company only will be responsible for the cost of the meeting space and any amenities that are not included. We know our customers need better space to work (we do too!) and we are thrilled to have been able to come up with a solution so quickly with our partners.

Q. I’m sold. How can I get my company enrolled?

All you need to do is fill out this very simple form.

Q. Q&A has been great, but I still have some questions. May I contact you?

Of course! Shoot us an email at GBTworkspaces@amexgbt.com.