UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Hotel Lobbies as Workplaces for the Modern Worker - PhD student wins World Resource Forum award

13 December 2019

Congratulations to PhD student Dola Oluteye, who won ‘Best Scientific Presentation – Resource Efficiency’ at the World Resource Forum conference in Geneva.

Dola Oluteye receding her award at the World Economic Forum Conference

Image: UCL’s Dola Oluteye (centre) receiving award at the WRF conference 24th October from Sonia Valdivia, WRF (left) and Christian Ludwig, WRF (right). 

At the World Resource Forum conference in Geneva CASE sponsored PhD student Dola Oluteye presented her work on ‘Hotel Lobbies as Workplaces for the Modern Worker’. The conference on the theme of ‘Making Natural Resource Governance Fit for the 21st Century’ had over 300 delegates from over 50 countries attend. She won the ‘Best Scientific Presentation – Resource Efficiency’ Award, one of five presentation awards given at the conference. 

As set out in the conference abstract, her presentation discussed that “Hotel lobbies in London are transforming into work environments, joining a growing number of web listings that account for workspaces in the United Kingdom (UK)”. 

Her presentation covered the study which speculates that “increasing digitalisation of modern work and changing worker demography contribute to shifts in workplace preferences” and goes on to suggest that incremental innovations in hotel lobby space models; are part of a re-conceptualising of existing normative workplace designs and a re-purposing of redundant, under-utilised and obsolete, built spaces into functional spaces that support economic activities associated with modern work.

About Dola’s PhD

Motivated by the United Kingdom (UK)’s vision for the built environment to contribute in various ways to achieving a future low carbon, resource-efficient, modern and globally competitive economy and the recent target to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, Dola offers an alternative and unique approach to how sustainability can apply to how built spaces are consumed (used). 

Starting on the premise that UK’s existing non-domestic buildings account for over 80% of the total stock, the paper suggests that focussing on the use existing stock presents the most substantial area of opportunity for effecting real change. As such, Dola outlined her case study findings of how the increasing adoption of hotel lobbies by a younger creative workforce demography suggests that “spatial fixity no longer characterises the modern workplace and workforce”. The paper adopts the ‘access-based consumption’ model to frame how the current modern work practices can inform strategies for reimagining and reconceptualising existing commercial buildings through the lenses of ‘resource efficiency’. Uber (transport sector) and Airbnb (residential property sector) exemplify the application of these models.

Dola’s work is sponsored through an EPSRC CASE studentship with industrial sponsorship through KSBC. 
Dola is supervised by Peter McLennan, Bartlett School of Planning and Bartlett Real Estate Institute and Prof. Ben Croxford, UCL Institute of Environmental Design of Engineering. 

More information