Airbnb adopts permanent remote work option for employees

Some companies have started requiring their employees to come into the office a few times a week now that most people have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Airbnb isn’t one them. Company CEO Brian Chesky has informed employees in a letter that they have the option to work remotely forever. A “small number of roles” will be required to work in the office, but the majority of Airbnb employees don’t have to come in if they don’t want to. 

Chesky wrote:

“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. “

The CEO said that Airbnb had recovered quickly from the pandemic thanks to people booking listings to work remotely, proving that the world is now more open to flexible work arrangements. Apparently, in the second half of 2021, 20 percent of the nights booked on its website were for stays of longer than a month. 

Airbnb will pay employees the same salary wherever it is in their country they choose to work. It will implement pay tiers by country for both salary and equity starting in June, so those getting paid less based on their location could soon be earning more. International moves are much more complex, however, and the company said it won’t be able to support employees who decide to live in another country this year.

That said, it will allow people to work in 170 countries for up to 90 days each starting in September. While employees still have to secure their own work authorization, the company is partnering with local governments to make the process easier. 

In comparison, Google and Apple employees are making a gradual return to office and are now required to work a few days a week on site as part of a hybrid work plan. Twitter opened some of its offices in late 2021 but also told employees that they can permanently work from home.