The Community Table is a response to new ways of working that are transforming the way individuals use their homes, their offices, their cities and their hotels.
“People are working remotely more and more — many companies aren’t even building enough space to house all their employees because not all of their employees are going to be in the office,” Hepler notes. “We wanted to be sure that our lobby spaces were really welcoming for people to come and work — not just for the guest who’s on the road, but also inviting locals to become a part of the community.”
While today’s communities look very different from the communities of the 1930s, Sheraton’s 80 years of legacy are reflected in the elegant material palette of the Community Table. “A lot of our work was around positioning that brand in a physical environment: warm, welcoming, familiar, a touch of heritage and a little bit timeless,” Hepler says. “We started looking at materials like oak, brass, black metal, tan leathers: Those four items are really the base.”
Currently the original 14-foot table from the NYU event sits in headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. “We’ve put it in our lobby along with some other furniture, and we’re studying it every day to see how people use it,” Hepler says. “We put it in a space that previously had tables and chairs but was always empty. Now, the Community Table is usually full with six to eight people at any given time, collaborating on projects, co-working or catching up with colleagues.”
Even in the hotel industry, it seems, the modern worker prefers not to work alone.