Airbnb will expand permanent remote work option

Photo-illustration of Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Add Airbnb to the list of employers who no longer require workers to report to the office.

Starting in June, the company’s 6,000 employees will be allowed to live and work wherever they choose, with no impact on their pay, CEO Brian Chesky wrote in a statement. memo Thusday.

“We want to hire and retain the best people in the world,” Chesky wrote in the memo. “If we limited our talent pool to a commuting radius around our offices, we would be at a significant disadvantage.”

The online hosting platform’s adoption of remote work could impact office owners around the world. Based in San Francisco, Airbnb has 23 head offices in 15 countries. Its other US locations include New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland.

An Airbnb spokesperson said the company could not comment on the future of its workspaces. “A small number of roles” will still be required to come to the office, Chesky wrote in the memo.

If the company chooses to downsize its office space, it could mean the loss of a lucrative office tenant. Airbnb opened its headquarters in 888 Brannan Street in the SoMA district of San Francisco in 2012, signing a 10-year lease for 170,000 square feet with SKS Real Estate Partnerswho bought the century-old, five-story building for $40 million in 2011.

SKS renovated the building for $35 million and sold it in 2014, after Airbnb moved in, to Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners for a considerable profit: $187 million, or about $461 a year. square foot, according to the San Francisco Business Times. reported. After completing further renovations, Beacon Capital then toppled the building a year later to $307 million to a joint venture of TIAA-CREF and the Norwegian Petroleum Fund.

While Airbnb had previously planned a September return to the office, the company was already subletting much of its San Francisco real estate footprint, SFGate reported. The company lost at least 424,000 square feet of office space in San Francisco last May.

In the first of last year alone, Airbnb said it lost around $113 million due to unused office space.

The lack of a physical workplace obviously hasn’t stopped him from making money: In his memo to employees on Thursday, Chesky said the past two years have been the most productive of his 15 years at the company. story.

Other employers, including Zillow and PwC, have adopted similar measures that allow employees to work wherever they want. About 10% of US employees are still fully remote, up from about 33% in May 2020, according to the New York Times. reported.

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