Is a writing desk a must-have for a business traveller's hotel room?
If you'd asked me that question a year ago, even six months ago, I'd have replied with as near-definitive 'Yes'. Of course business travellers need a desk in their hotel room.
And not just any desk but one with easily-reached AC sockets mounted in the desk or on the wall and effective task lighting, plus a proper office chair with adjustable height and decent lumbar support. Surely that's a must-have for the modern business traveller?
But perhaps not. On recent travels through Europe, both for business and holiday, I've stayed at an increasing number of hotels which forego the obligatory desk and chair.
Instead, there’s a bit more space and perhaps a more sizeable and comfortable chair, or even a chaise longue by the window.
And the more I stay in these rooms, the more I begin to question my own assumption that a hotel room really has to have a desk at all.
My previous pro-desk stance is no doubt influenced by the fact that as a journalist I need a desk to work at – somewhere to dump my laptop, spread out my notes and hammer away for a few hours of an afternoon and/or night and perhaps then again in the morning.
(When you see mention on our @AusBT Twitter account about the trips we’re on and the hotels and cities we're visiting, and you think it’s all one big lark, remember that we still have to fit some writing in around that!)
And certainly there are times when a business traveller would want a desk for similar reasons – preparing reports, working on contracts or shaping up a presentation.
But even so, does every business traveller need a desk – and in which case, does every hotel room need a desk?
In a world of thin and light notebooks and ‘ultrabooks’, and more noticeably a world of tablets, maybe all you need is a comfortable lounge (or a soft bed) with handy AC sockets by the bed and fast wi-fi flowing through the room.
What's your take on this: as a business traveller, do you always use the desk in your room or could you happily get by without it?
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.