The pandemic, or at least that’s how it seems at the moment, is subsiding, and with it more and more companies want to go back to the time before COVID-19. The home office, to which we have become accustomed for more than two years, is increasingly being abolished and offices are filling up again with colleagues. But is this the right way to go? Another approach is currently causing a stir in the business press and could be a good counter-example for the way back to the office.
Airbnb, probably best known for their revolution of the hotel market, is exemplifying a different kind of New Working approach. Their CEO Brian Chesky proclaimed in an interview for Time that working in an office is a thing of the past and that the digital age should focus on new ways of working together.
“If the office didn’t exist, I’d like to ask, would we invent it? And if we were to invent it, what would we invent it for?”
With these words, he also announced that Airbnb would completely switch to remote work, and one hundred percent of the time. With this announcement, this not only opens up potential for collaborative teams, but also how they are put together. People from all countries and cities can now have a career with Airbnb without having to live near a location. That such an offer is extremely attractive is also demonstrated by the platform’s careers page, which Chesky says received more than 800,000 views after the new work model was announced.
Despite all the innovative power, the CEO nevertheless admits that the office will still be needed. But its importance will have to change fundamentally, he says, because in the future it will have to offer added value that encourages collaboration and makes a trip to the premises worthwhile.
This example impressively shows how many people share Chesky’s assessment and makes one wonder whether the corporations, SMEs and startups that insist on office hours are not producing major and long-term damage to their employer brand.