Airbnb has announced (opens in new tab) an interesting new policy: all employees, at all levels, can work from home permanently without losing any pay.
The company's CEO, Brian Chesky, told employees that the move comes after success working remotely during the pandemic.
"Two years ago, the world was turned upside down. Our offices closed and we found ourselves working from our bedrooms, basements, and home offices," he said.
"Despite everything, we had the most productive two-year period in our history. While it’s been an incredible two years for Airbnb, I know it’s been hard on many of you."
Airbnb's policy will work as follows: employees can live and work anywhere, from their home or the office, which includes being able to move anywhere within the country they work in without it impacting their compensation.
Employees that choose to change countries could see their compensation change, although this element of the policy might change in the future. However, employees can work from any country of their choice for up to 90 days per year.
Chesky said Airbnb will continue to work in a coordinated way, harnessing the best collaboration platforms, video conferencing services and the like. It's a huge show of support for the work that can be achieved without employees all being in the same physical space for a set number of hours.
Writing on the wall
Giant technology companies were some of the first to go completely remote during the pandemic, which makes sense given their field.
But as the pandemic begins to recede, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are asking employees to return – initially for a few days before ramping up to full-time.
Others, like Meta, have gone in the other direction and are encouraging employees to work and live pretty much anywhere, perhaps in line with Mark Zuckerberg's vision for the metaverse (opens in new tab).
With Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other remote working tools available, the solutions are there for the complex problems of how to get a workforce to pull in the same direction without being in the same space while not impacting their overall work.
It remains to be seen whether Airbnb's model is successful, but the company has been incredibly resilient during the pandemic – despite a collapse in international travel – and so it seems like a fairly good bet the experiment will work.