Airbnb has announced that its workers who do not wish to work physically at the office won’t suffer a pay cut, even when they move away from cities close to the company’s offices.
The company said the period its employees worked from home was the most productive in its history. This was revealed by Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder, and CEO. However, the company laid off 25 percent of its staff in the same period.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Today, we’re announcing that Airbnb employees can live and work anywhere. <br><br>Our design for working at Airbnb has 5 key features:</p>— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) <a href=”https://twitter.com/bchesky/status/1519831566486147073?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 29, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
In a blog post, Chesky wrote, “If you move, your compensation won’t change. Starting in June, we’ll have single pay tiers by country for both salary and equity. If your pay was set using a lower location-based pay tier, you’ll receive an increase in June. Before you move, make sure to talk to your manager about performance and time zone expectations, as well as your availability for team gatherings. Permanent international moves are much more complex, so we won’t be able to support those this year.”
The room rental platform also said its employees could live and work in more than 170 countries for up to 90 days within a year, provided they retain a permanent address on their records. This is to help with tax filing. “Starting in September, you can live and work in over 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location. Everyone will still need a permanent address for tax and payroll purposes, but we’re excited to give you this level of flexibility. Most companies don’t do this because of the mountain of complexities with taxes, payroll, and time zone availability, but I hope we can open-source a solution so other companies can offer this flexibility as well.”
However, there will be events that will allow employees to meet in person throughout the year. “Being together to connect and collaborate has always been an essential part of our culture, and we’re doubling down on that. Instead of spending a set number of days in the office together, we’re prioritizing meaningful in-person gatherings that will happen throughout the year. Given that we’re still in a pandemic, there will be limited off-sites in 2022, but the Ground Control team is planning some special social events so you’ll still have opportunities to spend time together.”
Other tech companies like Zillow and Reddit have also promised not to dock employees’ wages should they move from big cities. Similarly, Twitter and Dropbox have allowed their staff to work from home. However, workers at Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Alphabet, etc., will lose part of their remuneration if they work remotely from cities with a lower cost of living.
Airbnb did have a hard time financially during the worst of the pandemic as people traveled less. This led to the firing of 1,900 workers. Industry watchers have commented that the company is trying to compensate with these generous remote work terms.
However, Airbnb is doing more than allowing workers to live in any part of the world they want. The CEO said his company would shift to a two- -major product release per year schedule to keep everybody organized.
The effects of the pandemic may have started going away, but Covid-19 has been a major reason more companies are willing to experiment with hybrid work models. Perhaps with time, other tech companies will follow Airbnb’s example.