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The Privilege of (Dis)connectivity

The Privilege of (Dis)connectivity

Working from home, and speaking to colleagues, clients, friends or family over digital platforms has shown us just how easy it is to stay connected, but also how imperative it is to our health to learn how, and when, to disconnect. Unlike pre-pandemic times, when life was often a mish-mash of  both digital and face-to-face interactions, the privilege of having in-person contact was abruptly taken away – suddenly making it a rare and precious commodity. Going forward, we feel guests will opt to be more present, putting away their devices to engage in the now. 

That’s why we developed Palatino’s “The Disconnect Box” to help them do just that. 

Palatino’s “The Disconnect Box”

One of the many things we will have learned from this crisis is just how easy it is to stay in touch and communicate with team members across the globe, or even across the neighbourhood, sitting in their own homes. Thanks to various digital communication platforms, many of which we also rely on daily at Palatino, cooperation and inter-communication is able to flow freely, and safely, amongst teams. It’s easy to stay connected. History has proved it is much harder for us to disconnect. 

However, this pandemic has reinforced even more than ever the value of knowing when, and how, to disconnect – perhaps something that wasn’t so vital to do before this. ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) challenged us to communicate more concisely, more authentically, more relevantly, through new means. Via video conferencing, co-workers suddenly revealed the backdrop of their homes and an instant sense of intimacy was established. The revealing of one’s penchant for scalloped edged pillowcases, the black & white wedding photos lining one’s bookcase,  or in many instances (at least in our home), the unknowing toddler stumbling across the room. These candid moments and raw settings highlight that regardless of whether we are speaking to a CEO, a fellow team member, or a relative, we are all in this together. We are all human. 

And with these realist-tinted glasses, comes the strength to admit the humanistic need to step back and disconnect. The idea of being ‘switched on’ 24/7 is no longer a sign of strength, just as busyness is no longer deemed as a sign of success. 

Lo and behold, the demand for ‘The Disconnect Box’ – a symbolic box to rest (and charge) one’s devices, locked away for temporary safekeeping while we reconnect with each other and ourselves. It facilitates that time to think. Instead of scrolling emails, the news, or social media, our thumbs are relieved of their duties to immerse ourselves in non-stop content. Instead, we are forced into the present.

While holidaymakers were once glued to their phones, we feel a new wave of travellers will emerge – those who wish to be on holiday to be 100% on holiday. They will be using a stay in a hotel as an opportunity to disconnect and recharge, particularly after a hard few months in isolation or WFH. The hotel will therefore have the power, and responsibility, to provide the tools to aid disconnection. 

‘The Disconnect Box’ is a simple, easy step to move in this direction – it is there if, or when, the guest needs it. It goes without saying that, in true Palatino style, we can make this in any colour, shape, material, or size, with any added unique specifications needed. 

But there is so much more hotels can be doing to go above and beyond in fostering this space to unplug from technology and recharge oneself. 

Here are just a small fraction of our ideas to share with you; our team remains available to provide our consultation service to help implement these more mindful and comprehensive new measures within your hotel. 

Going forward, we predict hotels will certainly be seen as instruments to assist in connecting to oneself and one’s family; a space to connect as a couple or bond as a family. We have seen Adult-Only resorts and we have seen Kid’s Clubs, but we feel there will be a rise in mindfully curated activities for the whole family to partake in and disconnect from the outside world, together.