Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, who recently announced that employees could work from home forever, calls the office an ‘anachronistic form’ and ‘from a pre-digital age’ – Business Insider
SOURCE: Sarah Jackson | Business Insider
For Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, working at the office is now a relic of the past.
In an interview for Time’s The Leadership Brief published on Sunday, Chesky said he believed the office was “an anachronistic form” that was “from a pre-digital age.” His comments came after Airbnb announced that it would let employees work remotely forever with no pay cut, citing the ability to widen its talent pool and adding that the company had its most productive two-year period ever while working remotely.
I think that the office as we know it, is over.
“I think that the office as we know it, is over,” he told Time. “We can’t try to hold on to 2019 any more than 1950. We have to move forward.”
He continued: “If the office didn’t exist, I like to ask, would we invent it? And if we invented it, what would it be invented for? Obviously, people are going to still go to hospitals and work, people are going to still go to coffee shops and work — those spaces make complete sense. But I think that for somebody whose job is on a laptop, the question is, well, what is an office meant to do?”
Chesky said that shortly after announcing that Airbnb would go fully remote, the company’s careers page received more than 800,000 views.
If the office didn’t exist, I like to ask, would we invent it? And if we invented it, what would it be invented for?
In January, Chesky said he was “living on Airbnb,” working from various cities across the US. In his Time interview on Sunday, he acknowledged there would still be some need for offices, but he concluded that “the office has to do something a home can’t do.”
“People will still go to offices, but it’ll be for different purposes, for collaboration spaces,” he said.
Chesky told Time that working 100% remotely could diversify hiring since employees could be based anywhere, but it could also make some employees feel isolated from their coworkers and company.
People will still go to offices, but it’ll be for different purposes, for collaboration spaces.
While he said a compromise was necessary, he believed there were flaws with the common hybrid work model of having employees work from the office three days a week, which companies such as Google and Apple are using.
Airbnb’s alternative to this model is to have employees meet up in person about one week per quarter.
“My prediction is three days a week becomes two days a week, and two days a week becomes one day a week, and pretty soon are you really in a hybrid world, or are you mostly a remote world?” he said. “People don’t realize this two, three days a week thing is not super sustainable. People are going to realize, ‘OK, let’s be more intentional about when people gather. And let’s gather for a week or two at a time.'”
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