Airbnb recently made a big announcement. Their employees can now live and work wherever they want.
This is an important move, and the below 5 things are happening as a result.
1. Happier Employees
The announcement was received with enthusiasm by Airbnb’s current employees. They see this added flexibility either as:
- A logistical convenience: If they plan to continue living in the same city.
- A life-changing opportunity: If they want to "move back home", for employees who are immigrants or from a different state.
There were some initial concerns that employees moving to countries with a lower cost of living could have salary cuts and leave.
Those concerns were mitigated. Airbnb will pay equal salary for similar roles regardless of location.
Employees who plan to move are now very excited.
Equal pay regardless of location is a life-changing opportunity for employees who want to move out of big cities or to countries with lower cost of living.
2. Employees of Other Big Tech Companies are Concerned
People who work at Google, Apple, etc. have just accepted to move back to the office. But now they are wondering if that puts them on "the wrong side of history".
Many employees who know that Remote Work is the future, have assumed that for now the office will continue being the norm. With more Big Tech companies announcing fully remote, it's becoming evident that Remote Work is already the present.
People at Google and Apple are lobbying for remote policies to be adopted there.
We bet they'll either:
- Succeed and have their employers change course and go remote. Or,
- Leave and find a job at a remote first company.
3. Airbnb is Receiving Thousands of Applications from Global Candidates
For the first time ever, Airbnb is not restricted to local talent pools around their office locations. Candidates are applying from everywhere on Earth.
Everyone plus their cat and dog are applying for their open positions. Airbnb is the hottest company to work for right now, from a PR standpoint. And candidates are asking Airbnb employees for internal referrals.
Airbnb is adapting HR processes to match the new requirements. Hiring globally is very different from hiring locally:
- Top funnel is much wider and more diverse.
- There's no pre-filtering by recruiters et al, most are direct applications.
- Tech assessments need to be scalable.
As I wrote recently, I see many remote companies struggling with this. They are replicating the same HR processes they used locally, even after they start hiring globally.
It won't work, and Airbnb's HR has prepared for the transition better.
4. Employees of Other Remote Companies Don't Get all the PR Noise
Many people already work at remote-first companies. Some of them for several years.
They are wondering why did the announcement from Airbnb create such noise in public opinion.
Some of those remote employees are even arguing that their company's remote policies are superior to those that Airbnb is just rolling out.
An example from Zillow:
5. There's Speculation that Airbnb Could Roll Out a Product for Remote Workers
This announcement signals that Airbnb's leadership gets the remote work movement. They understand this is the future, but it's also the present already.
If all companies allowed their employees to live and work anywhere, that could mean millions staying on Airbnbs permanently. Unlike short vacations here and there, this could be several months long stays in one or multiple Airbnbs around the world.
People are speculating that this could be Airbnb's first step toward positioning the company in the forefront of remote work. Some believe a product offering dedicated to remote workers is on the way.
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