Airbnb is embracing the “live anywhere, work anywhere” philosophy that much of the corporate world has been forced to adopt, committing to full-time remote work for most employees and a handful of benefits. like 90 work/international travel days. . It’s a strong and simple policy that very few large companies have had the guts to match.
In an email to employees posted on the company blog (or was it a blog post emailed to employees?) five points:
- You can work from home or the office
- You can move anywhere in the country where you work and your compensation will not change
- You have the flexibility to travel and work around the world.
- We will meet regularly for meetings.
- We will continue to work in a very coordinated way
Obviously, they are self-explanatory, but to be clear, let’s break them down.
Aside from “a small number of roles” that require an office or location presence (and that you probably already know), all employees can work from wherever they want.
If you want to move, as long as you stay inside the country, your salary will not change. Wherever you go in the US, for example, you’ll get the same pay, and one hopes it’s enough whether you live in a small town in Colorado or in midtown Manhattan. Unfortunately, if you decide to move permanently to London or Seoul, this is “a lot more complex, so we won’t be able to support them this year.”
Although workers will need a permanent address, they will have dozens of companies and locations to work for up to 90 days a year, so stay in Lisbon for a while and work from that villa for a week or two after your vacation. Why not? Well, possibly because remote work visas may not be available for those areas, but that’s all a work in progress. (They’re adding partners to a big list here.)
Chesky says everyone will “meet regularly,” even though Airbnb probably has around 15,000 employees right now. That’s even more than TechCrunch! They will have “limited external sites” in 2022, which is probably smart, but next year you can “expect to meet in person every quarter for about a week at a time.” I really don’t understand how they can possibly do any work there.
The last point seems a bit superfluous and self-indulgent, but it’s probably good to officially point out that the general way of working in the company, or how people are managed, etc., will not change due to this new policy.
Many companies have announced interim policies with the understanding that they will be reviewed in a few months. There is much talk of the “hybrid” or “flexible” model where employees work from the office for a few days and then from home the rest of the time. Depending on where and how you work, this could be the best or worst of both worlds. But it does suggest a certain lack of decision in leadership. (An early adopter of full-time remote work was Twitter, which may soon be under new leadership.)
And then there is the issue of safety and liability. Activision Blizzard, already a bit fubar, ordered a return to the office and then lifted its vaccine mandate. like someone noticed at the time“don’t die for this company”, or any company for that matter.
Perhaps Airbnb is the guinea pig for this particular type of “fully remote workplace” and every other company will be watching and hoping that the company hits its toe with some huge new tax burden or productivity issue. But the simplicity and flexibility of the policy, despite international legal restrictions, can overcome any new problems it creates.