Tuesday October 04, 2022

Airbnb says it will not deduct employees’ wages if they travel remote.

Airbnb announced Thursday that the “vast majority of its employees” will be able to work remotely and won’t need to take a pay cut for moving away from the company’s offices. According to Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, the company is making the change because it had the “most productive two-year period” ever while working remotely. It is worth noting that Airbnb also laid off a quarter its workforce during this time. According to the announcement, employees will be able to work in more than 170 countries for up 90 days per year as long as they have a permanent address. To allow employees to meet face-to–face throughout the year, the company will hold “team gatherings,” off-sites and social events.
Chesky’s thread that announced Airbnb’s new work policy. Image: Brian Chesky on Twitter

The new Airbnb model is unusual, but not uncommon. Reddit and Zillow promised that employees would not have to take pay cuts if they moved away from major metropolitan areas in 2021 or 2020, respectively. Many companies like Dropbox, Square, Twitter, and Amazon have also embraced remote work. There are many companies that work differently. Employees at Alphabet and Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and Meta will have to take a pay reduction if they move to an area with lower living costs, according to reports by the BBC. Some companies are more open to remote work than others.
Although the new remote work policies of Airbnb are a nice idea, it’s difficult to see the company as an example of how to treat employees. It fired 1,900 workers, or about a quarter of its workforce, just a few months after the pandemic. According to The New York Times, the company’s values of belonging, love and being like a close family were destroyed as it faced the prospect of drastically reducing its travel rates. It almost feels as if its new policies are a relief to its remaining workers, even though they were adopted years ago by other companies.
This isn’t just an issue for Airbnb. Zillow also lost about a quarter its workforce during the pandemic. However, that was not because Zillow bought too many homes and its business is built on something that people can no longer do.
It seems like Airbnb is creating some serious structure in other areas. However, its employees will have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing where they want to work. Chesky says that the company will use a multi-year plan with two major product launches per year to ensure everyone is organized.
Despite the long road, it seems like Airbnb has landed at a set policies that could be very attractive to current and future employees. (They also happen to work well with the stay-or-work-anywhere vibe of the company’s rental service.) It is small enough that it could influence larger companies to reconsider their remote work policies. If it is successful and its employees are open to its ideas about the future,

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