Airbnb won’t be requiring most of its employees to return to the office, ever.
The company communicated this Thursday to its employees that they can work permanently remotely and that they can move to any place in the country where they currently work. Doing so won’t have a negative impact on their pay, the company said, meaning it won’t adjust wages downward if an employee chooses to relocate to a city where the cost of living is lower.
In a lengthy email sent to employees on Thursday, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky outlined his new policies and expectations. He noted that the ongoing flexibility will allow the company to “hire and retain the best people in the world,” rather than just those within “a commuting radius around our offices.” Airbnb said it has 6,000 employees worldwide, with more than 3,000 in the United States.
Chesky told employees to check with their managers about their expectations before relocating, adding that given the complexity of international relocations, “we won’t be able to support you this year.” He also noted that “a small number of functions will need to be in the office or in a specific location to perform their primary job responsibilities.”
The update is perhaps a no-brainer for Airbnb, as Chesky has become a living marketing campaign for remote work in recent months, a trend his company of course benefits from after the devastating initial shock . in your business in the first months of the pandemic. In December 2020, Airbnb went public. And a year later, the company said its revenue grew 25% in 2021 compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic hit its business. Airbnb will publish its first quarter earnings next Tuesday.
In January, Chesky announced that he would be living on Airbnbs, staying at the homes of other people listed on his platform so he could jump from city to city every few weeks. Chesky said then that he believes the biggest travel trend in 2022 will be “people spreading out across thousands of towns and cities, staying for weeks, months or even entire seasons at a time.”
“More people will start living abroad, others will travel all summer, and some will even give up their rental contracts and become digital nomads,” he said, calling it a “decentralization of life.”
Now, Chesky is officially freeing employees to do just that. He encouraged those who want to take advantage of long stays in other countries to do so.
“Starting in September, you will be able to live and work in more than 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location,” he wrote. “Everyone will continue to need a permanent address for tax and payroll purposes, but we’re excited to offer this level of flexibility. Most companies don’t do this because of the mountain of complexities with taxes, payroll, and availability of time zones, but I hope we can open up a solution so that other companies can offer this flexibility as well.
Chesky added that employees have to process their own work visas. They should also expect more in-person meetings next year of roughly “every quarter for a week at a time.” In the United States, the company will largely operate on Pacific Standard Time.
“Flexibility only works when you trust the people on your team,” Chesky said. “They have shown how much they can accomplish remotely. In the last two years, we have come through the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, gone public, upgraded our entire service and reported record profits, all while working remotely.”
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