The onset of the covid-19 pandemic has set a pace of flexibility for all industries. In response to this trend of newfound flexibility, Airbnb has announced that it will allow employees to live and work anywhere and that the company will partner with destinations to help them attract remote workers.
The announcement was made to the employees through a mail sent by co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, on Thursday. The letter read, “The world is becoming more flexible about where people can work. We see this in our own business. We wouldn’t have recovered so quickly from the pandemic had it not been for millions of people working from Airbnbs. During the second half of 2021, 20% of our nights booked were for stays of longer than a month, and half were for stays of longer than a week.”
In the letter, Chesky further added that he assumes that the flexible working system is going to be the norm for at least ten more years. According to the official statement of the company, he wrote, “You’ve shown how much you can accomplish remotely. In the last two years, we navigated the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, went public, upgraded our entire service, and reported record earnings, all while working remotely. It’s clear that flexibility works for Airbnb.”
According to Chesky, though remote work did work well for Airbnb, some functions are executed better in the physical presence of people. He believes that the work has to be executed over a blend of the best properties offered by Zoom calls and those offered by a physical office place. So, people belonging to a team that needs to be physically together, may either attend office spaces or move together to any location within the country that they operate from. The letter states that such people have already been informed and that their compensation for the same is not going to change.
Chesky wrote, “Starting in September, you can live and work in over 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location. Everyone will still need a permanent address for tax and payroll purposes, but we’re excited to give you this level of flexibility. Most companies don’t do this because of the mountain of complexities with taxes, payroll, and time zone availability, but I hope we can open-source a solution so other companies can offer this flexibility as well.”
The workforce management team is working on organising team gatherings. He further explained that some roles, especially senior roles, will be expected to gather more often.