the office is “anachronistic” and “from a pre-digital era”
- Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently announced that the company will let employees work remotely forever without losing pay.
- In an interview for Time’s The Leadership Brief, he said “the office as we know it is over.”
- He also explained why he thinks the three-day office hybrid model is flawed.
For Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, working in the office is now a thing of the past.
In an interview for Time’s The Leadership Brief published on Sunday, Chesky said he thought the office was “an anachronistic form” that “came out of a pre-digital era.” His comments come after Airbnb announced earlier this week that it would let employees work remotely forever without a pay cut, citing the possibility of expanding its talent pool and noting that the company had experienced its downtime. two most productive years in its history 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 on.”
He continued, “If the office didn’t exist, I like to ask, would we invent it? And if we invented it, what would it be used for? still going to go to cafes and work – those spaces just make sense. But I think for someone whose work is on a laptop, the question is, well, what’s the use of a desk?”
Shortly after announcing that Airbnb will go entirely remote, Chesky said the company’s careers page received more than 800,000 views.
In January, Chesky said he “lives on Airbnb,” working in different cities across the United States. In his TIME interview on Sunday, he acknowledged there will still be a need for offices, but concluded that “the office has to do something that a home cannot do.”
“People will still go to offices, but it will be for different purposes, for collaborative spaces,” he said.
Chesky told Time that working 100% remotely can diversify hiring since employees can be based anywhere, but it can also make some employees feel isolated from their colleagues and the company.
Although he said a compromise was needed, he believes there are flaws in the common hybrid working model of having office workers work three days a week, which companies like Google and Apple use.
Airbnb’s alternative to this model is for employees to meet face-to-face approximately one week per quarter.
“My prediction is that three days a week becomes two days a week, and two days a week becomes one day a week, and pretty soon are you really in a hybrid world, or are you mostly a remote world?” he said. “People don’t realize that this two, three day a week thing isn’t super sustainable. People are going to realize, ‘OK, let’s be more intentional about when people come together. And let’s come together during a week or two at a time.’ “