Companies are all trying to figure out the future of office life culture. Is it fully remote, hybrid, or simply being full-time at the office? The pandemic has accelerated a trend for remote work that was already becoming the new norm for a lot of tech companies. While some companies like Coinbase and Dropbox are fully embracing remote work, others, like Goldman Sacks, have plans to send their employees full-time back to the office.
There are arguments on either side of the table from employees wanting flexibility and balance while employers want a strong in-person culture. There’s no denying being in person creates stronger relationships. So the battle between employees’ wants and employers’ needs continues. Who’s to say which side will win or if the future holds space for something in-between?
For Airbnb, they decided to go fully remote forever. Their CEO, Brian Chesky, sent an announcement on April 28, 2022, that the company will no longer require employees to come back to the office. He posted how work culture has changed throughout the years:
“…today’s startups have embraced remote work and flexibility, and I think this will become the predominant way that we all work 10 years from now. This is where the world is going.”
Along with the announcement of going fully remote, Airbnb also announced a few other changes that make their work from home policy one of the most flexible we have seen a tech company take. Below is the list of the new updates by Airbnb’s announcement:
– You can work from home or the office
– You can move anywhere in the country you work in and your compensation won’t change
– You have the flexibility to travel and work around the world
– We’ll meet up regularly for gatherings
– We’ll continue to work in a highly coordinated way
Most tech companies like Meta are reducing salaries for employees that leave headquarters to be fully remote, so seeing Airbnb take the opposite stance makes this policy interesting and competitive to find talent. As Brian Chesky states in his announcement,
“We want to hire and retain the best people in the world (like you). If we limited our talent pool to a commuting radius around our offices, we would be at a significant disadvantage. The best people live everywhere, not concentrated in one area. And by recruiting from a diverse set of communities, we will become a more diverse company.”
Airbnb believes its new policy is the way to obtain and attract new talent across and ensure the company can hire diversely by opening up its search pool.
Will this flexible work policy work for other companies?
It’s too soon to tell if this will be the new norm for startups. It will be an interesting case study for everyone to see how this will positively impact Airbnb and its talent pool. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to working culture, so it’s more about finding what makes sense for your company and the environment you want to create. After all, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, so it makes sense to release a policy that allows for their own employees to live this in practice. Time will tell if other companies will begin following suit.
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