Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently announced that the company will forever allow employees to work remotely without losing pay.
In an interview with Time’s The Leadership Brief, he said that “the office as we know it is over”.
He also explained why he thinks the three-day hybrid model in the office is wrong.
For Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, office work is now a relic of the past.
In an interview with Time’s The Leadership Brief published Sunday, Chesky said he believes the office is an “anachronistic form” that is “from the pre-digital age”. His comments come after Airbnb announced earlier this week that it would allow employees to work remotely forever without wage cuts, citing the possibility of expanding their talent and noting that the company had its most productive two-year period ever working remotely.
“I think the office as we know it is over,” he told Time. “We can’t try to keep 2019 more than 1950. We have to move forward.”
He continued: “If there was no office, I want to ask, would we invent it? And if we invented it, why would we invent it? Obviously people will continue to go to hospitals and work, people are still going to go to cafes and work – those spaces make complete sense. But I think for someone whose job is on a laptop, the question is, well, what should the office do? “
Shortly after announcing that Airbnb would be completely removed, Chesky said the company’s career page had received more than 800,000 views.
In January, Chesky said he “lives on Airbnb,” working from a variety of cities across the United States. In an interview with TIME on Sunday, he admitted that there will still be a need for offices, but concluded that “the office must do something that the home cannot”.
“People will continue to go to offices, but it will be for different purposes, to collaboration spaces,” he said.
Chesky told Time that 100% telecommuting can diversify hiring since employees can be based anywhere, but it can also make some employees feel isolated from their co-workers and the company.
Although he said a compromise is necessary, he believes there are flaws in the usual hybrid work model of having employees work out of the office three days a week, used by companies like Google and Apple.
An Airbnb alternative to this model is for employees to meet in person for approximately one week in a quarter.
“My prediction is that three days a week become two days a week, and two days a week become one day a week, and pretty quickly are you really in a hybrid world or are you mostly a distant world?” He said. “People don’t realize that these two, three days a week aren’t super sustainable. People will realize, ‘OK, let’s be more intentional when people get together. And let’s get together for a week or two at a time.’ “
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