Airbnb CEO: Current office design is outdated

“I think the office as we know it is an outdated concept,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said at the Wall Street Journal board summit on Wednesday. “First of all, as it is currently designed, it is an anachronistic form factor of the pre-digital age.”

He said 100% plans to redesign their offices, but admitted he doesn’t know exactly what it will look like.

“I used to think we had a pretty cool office design,” he said. “I would like us to be really innovative in the design of offices and workplaces of the future, and I think we have to live in this new world to understand what it will look like. But the office of the future should not be like the office of the past, because the world is changing.”

One thing he did predict was the fall of the open-plan office.

“The open floor plan with these conference rooms where everyone is queuing up to get into them and no one can find the conference room is all a thing of the past, I think.”

Chesky said that with the new flexible work policy, the company plans to have employees meet in person for about a week each quarter “to make sure there’s a human connection.”

The transition to remote work also means the company will spend less money on office space and take up less office space, as only a small proportion of its employees will be in the office at any one time, he said.

“We’ll have a much smaller office space, we’ll probably spend a little more money on travel entertainment to get people together… and there will probably be fewer business meetings because there are a lot of things to do. through zoom.

The San Francisco-based company told employees last month that most of them could work anywhere in the country they currently work in without affecting their wages.

And starting in September, employees can also choose to work from over 170 countries for up to 90 days a year at each location. But workers will need a permanent address for tax and payroll reasons, the company noted in an April 28 email to employees.

“Most companies don’t do this due to the many complexities of taxes, payroll and time zones, but I hope we can open up a solution so that other companies can also offer this flexibility,” Chesky said in an email. letter. .

The shared living platform has benefited from increased flexible working. Chesky told the WSJ that the company would not have recovered from the pandemic so quickly if it weren’t for the millions of people living at Airbnbs. He added that a fifth of the business comes from people living longer than a month.

“[That’s] doesn’t even count as classic travel,” he said. “Our business wouldn’t have recovered if it wasn’t for the people who live and work on Airbnb.”

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