Cartoon illustrations with people outside with buildings in background

By Cayley Dow

No one can predict the future of work with certainty; however, we can look to trends in technology, shifting work norms, and generational preferences for clues as to what lies ahead for workplaces in the hotel industry.


A primary trend is the adoption of new technology, encompassing virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) across hotel functions. From contactless check-in and digital concierge services to AI-powered guest experiences, technology is revolutionizing every aspect of operations. As chatbots and virtual assistants handle guest inquiries and bookings, hotel staff will be freer to focus on delivering elevated, personalized services. Sophisticated systems will leverage data analytics to automate routine processes, predict guest needs, optimize pricing strategies, and in turn, will enable leaders to improve overall decision-making. Hotel jobs will change to emphasize high-touch, high-skill functions where emotional intelligence and decision-making are required.

In HR, AI-driven learning platforms will become mainstay for on-demand, limitless employee development. Expect to see virtual reality (VR) embedded into training programs, enabling practise of problem-solving and customer service skills risk-free through simulated real-world scenarios.

Workplace Flexibility

Flexibility, which is now table stakes for employee attraction, will continue to be the top amenity employees want. With advancements in communication technology, many hotel employees including managers, sales teams, and administrative staff can perform their duties in a remote or hybrid structure. As many leaders are still figuring out how to maintain team cohesion, communication, and accountability in remote work settings, the next iteration of flexible work will require a shift in culture from presenteeism — where team members are rewarded for showing up, responding quickly, and looking working the longest hours — to rewarding for results. Thanks to digital capabilities, leaders can now accurately measure performance and reward top employees based on quantifiable, valuable outcomes.

New Generations

While Generation Alpha children, the cohort born from 2010 onwards, are still young, there are several key aspects to consider regarding their potential impact on the workplace. Generation Alpha is the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age. They are highly tech-savvy, having been exposed to smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices from a very young age. Leaders need to recognize that these individuals will likely have a natural aptitude for technology and will gravitate to workplaces that are highly tech-driven. As such, they will have an extreme preference for remote and flexible work and will be comfortable with blended work environments that combine virtual and physical spaces.

Socially, as Generation Alpha is growing up in a more diverse and inclusive world, they are likely to prioritize diversity and inclusion in the workplace where different perspectives and experiences are valued. Maturing in an era of climate and mental health crises, this group will weight their employer’s commitment to environmental and wellness initiatives heavily in choosing their employment.

These emerging trends are re-shaping the workforce landscape and the hospitality industry will need to continue to innovate with intensity to meet the demands of the future. 


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