Airbnb allows employees to work and live anywhere

Collaboration, in-person connection still critical in San Francisco-based company's new setup

Airbnb allows employees to work and live anywhere

Airbnb is giving its workers geographical freedom, both for their professional and personal lives, starting this year.

In an email to employees, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky noted that the company is allowing workers to work and live anywhere they choose:

“...The world is becoming more flexible about where people can work. We see this in our own business,” he said. “We’ve designed a way for you to live and work anywhere—while collaborating in a highly coordinated way, and experiencing the in-person connection that makes Airbnb special.”

This seems to be aligned with what workers want, as more than two in five of nearly 1,600 respondents of the Amazon Business Return to Office Report, released in March, said they would look for another job if their managers mandate office returns.

Under the new setup, the San Francisco-based company is allowing employees to work either at home or in the office. However, a small number of workers will be required to be in the physical workplace, and they have already been informed, said Chesky.The company is also allowing workers to move anywhere within the country they are working in and their compensation will not be affected. To make this possible, the company will have single pay tiers by country for both salary and equity starting June.

“If your pay was set using a lower location-based pay tier, you’ll receive an increase in June,” he said.

Read more: Remote work remains priority for job seekers

Starting in September, workers will also be allowed to live and work in over 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location. However, everyone will still need a permanent address for tax and payroll purposes. Also, workers will have to help in ironing out the complexities of this setup.

“While you’ll be responsible for getting proper work authorization, we’re actively partnering with local governments to make it easier for more people to travel and work around the world,” said Chesky. Chesky also said that Airbnb employees will meet up regularly for team gatherings, off-sites and social events, and will continue to work in “a highly coordinated way.”

Chesky noted that the company has found some success in the past two years thanks to employees who have had to adapt to remote work setups amid the pandemic. And the new work setup will be crucial in attracting and keeping the best talent onboard.

“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,” said Chesky.

Earlier, Meta’s management team has also fully embraced the remote work lifestyle. However, “work from anywhere” policies have some legal challenges, one expert previously told HRD.

In February, several employers in the United States started calling their workers back to the office. In March, Google announced its employees will return to the Bay Area office in April. However, it’s not a popular policy, according to a survey of 1,097 verified Google professionals in the U.S. from the anonymous professional social network Blind

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