The office is ‘anachronistic’ and ‘from a pre-digital age’

  • Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently announced that the company will let employees work remotely forever without losing wages.
  • In an interview for Time’s The Leadership Brief, he said that “the office as we know it is over.”
  • He also explained why he thinks the hybrid model of three days in the office is deficient.

For Airbnb boss Brian Chesky, the job in the office is now a relic of the past.

In an interview with Time’s The Leadership Brief published Sunday, Chesky said he believes the office is “an anachronistic form” that is “from a pre-digital age.” His comments come after Airbnb announced earlier this week that it would let employees work remotely forever without pay cuts, citing the possibility of expanding its talent pool and noting that the company had its most productive two-year period ever while working remotely.

“I think the office as we know it is over,” he told Time. “We can not try to hold on to 2019 more than 1950. We must move on.”

He continued: “If the office did not exist, I like to ask, would we invent it? And if we invented it, what would it be invented for? It is clear that people will still go to the hospital and work, people are “will still go to coffee shops and work – these places make full sense. But I think for someone who has the job on a laptop, the question is, well, what is an office meant to do?”

Shortly after announcing that Airbnb would be completely external, Chesky said the company’s career page received more than 800,000 views.

In January, Chesky said he “lived on Airbnb” and worked from various cities across the United States. In his TIME interview on Sunday, he acknowledged that there will still be a need for offices, but concluded that “the office must do something a home can not do.”

“People will still go to offices, but it will be for different purposes, for collaborative spaces,” he said.

Chesky said Time 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 that a compromise is needed, he believes that there is something wrong with the usual hybrid work model of letting employees work from the office three days a week, which companies like Google and Apple use.

Airbnb’s alternative to this model is to let employees show up in person about a 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 you’re really in a hybrid world, or are you mostly a remote world?” he said. “People do not realize that this two, three days a week is not super sustainable. People will realize: ‘OK, let’s be more aware when people gather. And let’s get together for a week or two at a time. “”

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