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AirBnb Remote Work Policy: Analysis and Breakdown

AirBnb Remote Work Policy: Analysis and Breakdown

gig economy booms and companies adopt a remote first model, most people are spending more of their time traveling. This trend has led many tech companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Automatic to test Remote Work Policies for employees around the world. One company that has received a lot of enthusiasm for this new policy is Airbnb. We want to take a moment here and congratulate the team at Airbnb for their innovative and well thought out airbnb remote work policy. 

As a remote team, we were duly impressed with the approach that Airbnb took. The new policy reflects the core values Airbnb has attempted to cultivate among its customers from the start: to allow individuals to live or work anywhere they wish, providing them with the flexibility to travel anywhere in the world. This new approach represents a complete shift in how organizations and employees think of remote work.

Some companies have been quick to dismiss the remote work arrangement on the basis of having a hard time supervising employees' workflow and ensuring productivity. Meanwhile, this is one of the many reasons Airbnb decided to go remote. In the email that was sent to employees, CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky says, “ Two years ago, the world was turned upside down. Our offices closed and we found ourselves working from our bedrooms, basements, and home offices. Despite everything, we had the most productive two-year period in our history.”  

Chesky attributed part of Airbnb's success to the remote work policy that was adopted during the pandemic. This shows that by offering employees freedom and flexibility in where they work, allows them to be more productive and innovative with their time. He adds, “Now, I understand the anxiety of not seeing people in an office—how do you know if your employees are doing their jobs when you can’t see them? For me, it’s simple: I trust you, and flexibility only works when you trust the people on your team. You’ve shown how much you can accomplish remotely. In the last two years, we navigated the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, went public, upgraded our entire service, and reported record earnings, all while working remotely. It’s clear that flexibility works for Airbnb.” 

While it may seem easier to get distracted, procrastinate, or put in less work when working remotely, recent statistics show that 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolution. A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter, more convenient working environment and working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days. In this same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.

However, some might wonder if Airbnb's decision to adopt the remote work policy goes beyond providing flexibility for employees or more of a competitive advantage. 

Airbnb Decision As A Competitive Advantage

One of the remarkable mentions in Airbnb remote’s announcement was Chesky’s confirmation of the need to hire the best talent without limitations. He says, “We then asked, what are we solving for? We want to hire and retain the best people in the world (like you). If we limited our talent pool to a commuting radius around our offices, we would be at a significant disadvantage. The best people live everywhere, not concentrated in one area. And by recruiting from a diverse set of communities, we will become a more diverse company.” 

Following this announcement, not only was the response from employees overwhelmingly positive, but it sparked interest among job seekers. "The response internally was great, but even more impressive [was] the response externally because our career page was visited 800,000 times after that announcement," said Chesky during a Tuesday earnings call for Airbnb's first-quarter results, according to a transcript.

When it comes to attracting talent, offering remote positions removes the geographic boundaries from the available talent pool. Businesses can now recruit qualified job candidates regardless of the candidates' location. This not only allows companies to more effectively pursue top talent, but can also help facilitate the creation of a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Which is exactly what Airbnb has achieved with their remote work policy announcement.

Ultimately, this will become a huge source of competition among tech giants: attracting top talent. The idea of commuting long hours and of not being able to live too far from a select set of massive (and expensive) cities — it’s increasingly getting in the way of recruiting and retention.

What’s more? According to Fortune, Airbnb's stock current trading price is at $159, which is 233% of its debut price of $68. In its 2021 annual report, the company said full-year revenue was up 77% on the year before and above 2019 levels, hitting $6 billion in sales.

Will Airbnb stock rise long-term based on their new remote policy? It is difficult to say, however positive news like this could make a company’s stock price tick up and make investors take notice of the company's potential.

While it is difficult to predict the impact of adopting the remote work model on Airbnb’s stock price, one thing is for sure: The company is doing everything possible to create an environment in which its employees can flourish and  increase their productivity.

Final Thoughts

Remote work is a competitive advantage. If you can deliver meaningful work without being physically present, you're not just more efficient—you're also empowering employees to create a better work-life balance.

For a company to compete more favorably in attracting top talent, it’s not just enough to adopt a remote work policy. Equipping your remote team with the right equipment will put your company in the top one percent of the competition. In fact, according to a recent survey by GroWrk, 70% of job seekers say they would be more inclined to apply to a remote role if there is provision of WFH setup. 

The survey also revealed that one in four employees value an employer who allows them to work remotely over one who doesn’t. It is important for companies to keep up with their competitors when it comes to providing an adequate working environment for their WFH employees. In order to do so, they need to invest in the services that GroWrk provides which includes the provision of high quality technology and other office equipment that will enable remote teams to perform their duties efficiently and effectively. 

Introducing flexible working policies, will not only save money and boost productivity but also decrease employee turnover, without negatively affecting your company's goal. 

Oluchi Njoku

May 18

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