Airbnb CEO Says Staff Can ‘Live and Work Anywhere’

London, UK - July 31, 2018: The buttons of the travel app Airbnb, surrounded by Amazon, ebay, News and other apps on the screen of an iPhone.
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Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said on Twitter that employees will now have the possibility to “live and work anywhere.” The move comes against the backdrop of a tight labor market and employers having to find creative ways to attract and retain employees.

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The design for working at Airbnb has five key features, he said on April 28. According to Chesky, employees can work from home or the office and they can move anywhere in the country, “like from San Francisco to Nashville, and your compensation won’t change.”

Employees will also have the flexibility to live and work in 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location.

“We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings. Most employees will connect in person every quarter for about a week at a time (some more frequently),” he added. “To pull this off, we’ll operate off of a multi-year roadmap with two major product releases a year, which will keep us working in a highly coordinated way.”

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In a separate email to employees, Chesky said that two years ago, the world was turned upside down, but “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.”

He added that the company wants to hire and retain the best people in the world, and by limiting the talent pool to a commuting radius around its offices, it would be at a significant disadvantage.

“And by recruiting from a diverse set of communities, we will become a more diverse company,” he said.

“You’ve shown how much you can accomplish remotely. In the last two years, we navigated the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, went public, upgraded our entire service, and reported record earnings, all while working remotely. It’s clear that flexibility works for Airbnb,” he wrote.

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Bloomberg reports that in January, Chesky said he would live and work out of Airbnbs for several months.

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In addition, the company said on its website that nearly half of the nights booked from July to December 2021 were for stays of a week or longer. One in five nights booked were for stays of a month or longer. And in the past year alone, Airbnb guests stayed in about 100,000 towns and cities around the world, with nearly 175,000 of them booking stays for three months or longer.

It added that it’s not the only company offering employees flexibility moving forward, as about one in five guests on Airbnb reported using Airbnb to work remotely while traveling in 2021.

The company also said that it was working with governments looking to embrace this trend of worker flexibility and to highlight these destinations. As part of this, Airbnb also announced it was launching the Live and Work Anywhere initiative to partner with governments and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).

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“We’ve partnered with governments from Chicago to Tulsa, Malaga, the French Alps, and Buenos Aires to help remote workers try living there before they move longer-term. And, we have partnered with governments from South Africa to Bali and the Rural Mayors Association in France to promote the destinations as the ideal places to work remotely,” the company added.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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