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Business travelers, Airbnb is about to make it easier to find a workspace

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Image used with permission by copyright holder
If your job sometimes sends you to far-flung places, there’s a fair chance you occasionally end up in a hotel’s business center making use of facilities such as printers, copiers, and Wi-Fi.

Or you might book a place through Airbnb and sort out your workspace once you get there, though without proper planning, you might end up wasting valuable time.

Aiming to lure business travelers from hotels, as well as enhance its offerings for existing Airbnb members, the room-sharing service is teaming up with workspace-sharing outfit WeWork, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, October 4.

In a pilot program that’s expected to launch this week, business travelers booking accommodation on Airbnb’s site will have the option to reserve facilities at the nearest WeWork location to where they’re staying. Though not yet officially announced, Bloomberg said both companies had confirmed the partnership. It will undergo trials in  six cities, namely Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London, and Sydney, Australia.

As the news site pointed out, Airbnb already made overtures to corporate customers when earlier this year it rolled out a “Business Travel Ready” search tool for its site to help people find homes with, at the very minimum, a work desk and Wi-Fi, as well as items you’d expect to find in a hotel room such as a hair dryer and iron. Linking up with WeWork therefore marks an expansion of Airbnb’s interest in wooing workers who are away on business trips, and entrepreneurs looking for a place to focus, away from their unmade bed.

WeWork is a leading provider of shared workspace, offering all kinds of locations “from brainstorming rooms to phone booths to terraces.” The company prides itself on creating engaging and comfortable spaces and uses teams of artists, designers, and engineers to create them. The partnership with Airbnb, expected to be announced this week, looks set to bring it more visitors as Airbnb’s burgeoning user base — including many who travel on business — learn more about what it has to offer. For Airbnb, it could win it a few more clients who would ordinarily opt for a hotel, but who instead may be tempted to try the online service if there’s a WeWork space close by.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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