The company told employees Thursday that they can permanently work remotely and can move to anywhere within the country they are currently working in. The company said doing so would not negatively affect compensation, meaning it would not adjust salaries downward if an employee chooses to move to a city where the cost of living is lower.
In a lengthy email to employees Thursday, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky outlined its new policies and expectations. He noted that lasting flexibility would allow the company to “recruit and keep the best people in the world,” rather than just those in the “circle of commuting around our offices.” Airbnb said it has 6,000 employees globally, with more than 3,000 in the United States.
Chesky asked staff to consult with managers before moving on on the outlook, and added that given the complexities of international moves, “we won’t be able to support those moves this year.” He also noted that “there will be a small number of roles that will be required in the office or in a specific location to perform the responsibilities of their primary job”.
“More people will start living abroad, others will travel all summer, and some will even abandon lease contracts and become digital nomads,” he said, calling this a “decentralization of living.”
Now, Chesky is officially freeing the staff to do just that. He encouraged those who wished to take advantage of long stays in other countries to do so.
“As of September, you can live and work in more than 170 countries for up to 90 days a year at each location,” he wrote. “Everyone will still need a permanent address for tax and payroll purposes, but we are excited to give you that level of flexibility. Most companies don’t because of the mountain of tax and payroll complications and time zone availability, but I hope we can open source a solution so other companies can offer This flexibility, too.”
Chesky added that employees are responsible for sorting out work visas. They should also expect more in-person gatherings next year at a pace roughly “every three months for about a week on time.” In the United States, the company will operate largely in Pacific Time.
“Flexibility only works when you trust your team members,” Chesky said. “You’ve shown how much you can make remotely. In the past two years, we’ve weathered the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, brought it to the public, upgraded our entire services, and reported record earnings, all while working remotely.”