Two years ago Peggy Fang Roe noticed a frustrating phenomenon. The chief sales and marketing officer in Marriott’s Asia Pacific division, Fang Roe knows that hotel conference rooms are underutilized—yet she often saw people searching Marriott’s lobbies and restaurants for a quiet spot to work. “I thought it was crazy that our guests couldn’t get easy access to our vacant spaces,” she says. So at her initiative, in 2012 Marriott partnered with LiquidSpace, an online platform that lets people quickly book flexible workspaces by the hour or day, testing the idea in 40 hotels in Washington, DC, and San Francisco. “It wasn’t just hotel guests reserving spaces, but also locals—from lawyers to independent workers to consultants,” Fang Roe says. Currently 432 Marriott hotels have meeting spaces listed with LiquidSpace—and because many of the people reserving space aren’t guests, the arrangement helps Marriott reach new consumers. “The Workspace on Demand program is proof that Marriott is…willing to disrupt what hotels are about,” says Glen Harvell, who now leads the program.

Creating an On-Demand Service

Peggy Fang Roe is Marriott’s chief sales and marketing officer for Asia Pacific. She spoke with HBR about creating the company’s Workspace on Demand pilot.

Read the article on Harvard Business Review.