Airbnb CEO slams other CEOs for calling employees back to the office

May 11 2023, 3:47 pm

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, has called out other CEOs for mandating their employees to return to the office.

Airbnb says it allows its employees to “live and work from anywhere” without loss of pay.

In an interview with The Verge, Chesky said that although the era of pure remote working is ending, the future of the workplace should be flexible.

“Here’s the calculation every CEO has to make: are you more productive having people physically in an office together and then constraining who you hire to a 30-mile or a 60-mile commuting radius to the office?” he said.Ā 

Chesky believes employers have to weigh the benefits of employees working together in person with access to the global talent pool.

“And the truth is, it probably depends on the role,” he concluded.Ā Ā 

He said those who work as software engineers, accountants or in other similar roles don’t need to be in the office. But it may be beneficial for creative teams to be together more often.

The 41-year-old believes they can have the best of both worlds by aiming to bring teams together for at least one week per quarter.

“We don’t want to recreate this world of Wall-E where everyone’s just staring at screens all day, and no one has any interaction in the physical world,” he noted.Ā 

Chesky called out CEOs mandating a return to the office. “I guarantee you that many of these CEOs who are calling people back to the office in New York City are going away to the Hamptons for the summer or going to Europe in August.”

He believes the next generation of workers will live a more nomadic lifestyle, travelling and working worldwide.

“When I was in my twenties, I never imagined living in another country for a month. But now, that’s actually feasible,” he said.Ā 

The capabilities of international mobile work will only increase as bandwidth, screen resolution, and video conferencing technology continue to improve, he added.

This mindset clearing isn’t holding Airbnb back.

Chesky told The Verge that Airbnb “had the most productive two-year period in our company’s history ā€” all while working remotely.”

Harry LinleyHarry Linley

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