When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit in early 2020, many businesses had no choice but to shift towards remote work. Flash forward a few years, and it's clear remote work isn't going away.
While remote and hybrid working have been a hot topic for the world's workers in the past two years, not everyone can agree on how to tackle it, and for every company that cuts its workers some slack, there are others who demand staff are at their office desks everyday.
One company that has a clear approach to remote working is Airbnb, so much so that CEO Brian Chesky is going fully remote for several months. All while working out of lodging from his own company's listings, of course.
Airbnb Goes Remote
Chesky's plan is to spend several month working and living out of Airbnbs across the US, spending one or two weeks in each location before returning back to his San Francisco home to decompress before the next trip.
For Chesky's first stop, in Atlanta, he stayed at a home decorated with San Francisco street posters collected in the 1970s by the host family — Chesky says he's drawn to listings with these “personal touches.”
The tour appears to be a proof-of-concept of sorts for other fully remote workers who might themselves want a change of scenery.
“All you need is a laptop and someone's internet in their home and you can do your job. In fact, you can even run a nearly $100 billion company,” Chesky told USA Today.
Granted, Airbnb is hoping that remote workers will choose to travel while on the job, giving them a chance at new scenery and some casual tourism that they wouldn't be able to slip in while working an in-person nine-to-five.
Not all remote workers will actually have the energy to multi-task on business and pleasure, but the overall pool of remote workers who might is certainly larger than it used to be.
The Shift to Remote Work
2021 saw the hottest job market since the dot-com boom. That means that in 2022, employers are working to find ways to stay competitive and attract the talent that's in such short supply. One of the biggest perks is remote work, particularly given that deadly airborn pandemic you may have heard about.
Companies that are offering remote work also tend to be better in plenty of other ways, including transparency. According to recent research from remote career platform Arc, remote tech companies are more likely than in-office companies to share information on their benefits and perks when hiring, and far more likely to share salary information and explain their hiring process.
“Enabling remote work removes limits for both the company and the team: the whole world becomes your talent pool, and people get to work wherever they work best,” Arc CEO Weiting Liu tells Tech.co. “By changing from location-based management to results-only management, the whole team is empowered to own and solve problems.”
In fact, none of the top in-office tech giants shared details on their compensation or hiring process details in their job descriptions, compared to 20% and 44% of the top remote tech companies, respectively.
Why are companies operating mostly or entirely with remote workers more likely to be transparent? Perhaps more transparency is required for businesses that lack in-person watercooler conversations. Or maybe these companies recognize that a more flexible workplace means happier employees. Either way, it's a hopeful sign for anyone who wants a more remote-friendly future.