Airbnb tracks where the world is going
Short-term rental giant Airbnb announced on Thursday evening that it would allow its employees to work from anywhere, remotely or in an office, without changing their salary if they move within the same country.
In what CEO Brian Chesky calls “Live and Work Anywhere,” he said: “Over the past two years, we’ve been through the pandemic, rebuilt the company from the ground up, went public, improved the our entire service and recorded record revenues, all while working remotely. It’s clear that flexibility works for Airbnb.
“But it introduces tension.
“Airbnb is first and foremost a human connection company, and we believe that the most meaningful connections happen in person. Zoom is great for nurturing relationships, but it’s not the best way to deepen them. some creative work and collaborations are best done when you’re in the same room. I’d like to work at Airbnb to feel like I’m working in one of the most creative places on the planet, and that’s only going to happen with some in-person collaboration time.
… “To recap, here is our design for living and working anywhere:
- You can work from home or in the office
- You can move anywhere in the country where you work and your compensation will not change
- You have the opportunity to travel and work around the world
- We will meet regularly for gatherings
- We will continue to work in a highly coordinated manner.
Chesky added, “Today, more than 20 countries offer remote work visas, with more on the way. While working from different locations may not be possible for everyone, I hope everyone can benefit from this flexibility when the time comes. »
Which brings us to this – Remote work visas are gaining traction in the Caribbean
The government of Barbados has commissioned a digital marketing agency to reboot the island as a remote work hub in the Caribbean region.
The project follows the country’s introduction of a welcome stamp in July 2020, with the government recognizing early on its potential to attract remote workers as offices closed during the pandemic. The digital nomad visa is valid for 12 months, but applicants must prove an annual income of at least $50,000, plus health insurance. It also costs $2,000 for a single person or $3,000 for a family to treat.
Barbados is now working with Denver-based marketing and consulting agency Zeal, which will host a two-week “destination activation” event in July to showcase the island’s remote work infrastructure, but also validate the success of the visa, or not.
Teleworkers as a source of income
The event was originally scheduled for June 10-14. It’s not the first time it’s been delayed, according to Eric Sutfin, founder and chief marketing officer of Zeal. Talks for the project, which involves the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association and Intimate Hotels of Barbados, began in 2020, but the emergence of variants of Covid-19 put things on hold.
However, in July, Zeal will host a series of workshops, panels and interviews, and share tips and resources for employees and employers to provide a seamless process for working remotely. The activation event will also feature content on how to overcome obstacles when living abroad, covering visa processes, health, finances and accommodation. Zeal also gives back 3% with a “Love for the Locals” program as it seeks to connect members and local community groups.
“We’re trying to give people a real sense of what it’s like to work remotely and engage Welcome Stampers,” Sutfin said. “There are several thousand, and about 800 or 900 still there. They have an active community.
There are also tips on solo travel, how to stay fit and how to set up a crypto wallet to “explore the world beyond credit cards”, he added. “We give you the ability to connect and travel on your own. I often see these silos of Facebook groups or job boards, which have their own information. But we want to bring it all together under one model. We see ourselves as an umbrella.
Overall, Zeal wants to bridge the gap between government, hotels and the tourism sector, and with its tech partner Connective Network is developing an app to create a kind of membership club – but it’s not cheap . Early access to a one-year VIP membership costs $95, while a lifetime VIP membership costs $475, but includes an invitation to join the activation event in Barbados. The fee does, however, include access to hotel discounts.
Barbados will want to see a return on their investment, so Zeal will track accommodation booking data and social media feedback, and the activation event will include QR codes and hashtag tracking.
Zeal is also working with hoteliers in the Bahamas and Jamaica, who expect the tourism sector to be “fully recovered and growing” by 2023, according to Minister Edmund Bartlett. Sutfin says the project is the first of its kind and hopes to replicate it in other parts of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico – which has launched an “office makeover” campaign to tap into the digital nomad market – this fall or this winter, and Costa Rica at a later date.
The concept is the latest in a series of initiatives from a region that wants to push the boundaries to revive tourism. The Grenada Tourism Authority, for example, recently launched a loyalty and rewards program called Connect 473 to turn the island’s diaspora into brand advocates.
In the longer term, Sutfin said he would establish partnerships with airlines and private aviation companies. He also plans to roll out the idea in Chile, Malaysia and Thailand.
As borders reopen and more businesses move away, the Caribbean will be competing with Europe this summer for its share of digital nomads. Latvia and Italy are among the latest countries to welcome remote workers with new visas, while Croatia will host a three-day conference in Dubrovnik to showcase its own suitability for tourists with laptops.
“Inflexible return-to-work policies hammer employee experience scores,” headlined Slack’s latest Future Forum Pulse last week.
The collaboration platform’s quarterly datasets gauge current attitudes towards work habits, but it’s now a never-ending conversation. Some offices will open, others will not. It’s a tough decision for any leader in the era of the Great Resignation. But at the same time, there is the constant evolution of the online tools we use, including Slack.
And “Audio first” work modes are now in vogue, according to its CEO. Slack launched Huddles in June last year, and it became the fastest user-adopted feature in the company’s history. “It’s been a huge hit and millions of people use it every week,” Stewart Butterfield said during a CNBC event on Wednesday.
It was mainly used by smaller teams, five to eight people, and some people leave the channel open all day. Butterfield said this should inspire developers to create “richer” types of collaboration tools.
Meanwhile, a new study has questioned Zoom’s effectiveness in getting the creative juices flowing. In a lab study and a field experiment involving 602 people in five countries, videoconferencing was found to inhibit idea generation.
“We demonstrate that videoconferencing hampers idea generation because it focuses communicators on a screen, which incentivizes closer cognitive focus,” according to the report Virtual communication stifles creative idea generation, published this week. “Our results suggest that virtual interaction has a cognitive cost for the generation of creative ideas.”
However, when it comes to selecting which idea to pursue, the study found no evidence that videoconferencing groups were less effective, and preliminary evidence even suggests they are more effective than online groups. nobody.
When remote work habits and trends are changing at such a pace, it’s no wonder some companies are taking an “inflexible” stance on staff recall. It may just be a case of the best the heck you know.
10 second catch up on business trips
Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Air Canada, American Express, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, CWT, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, Google, Heathrow Airport, Incentive Travel, JetBlue, Kayak, Mondee, Selina, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
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