That’s the question asked by AirBnB’s CEO Brian Chesky in a recent interview. Chesky had just announced that AirBnB’s employees could work from anywhere.
Leaders like Chesky and Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar (who also recently announced that Atlassian’s employees could work from anywhere, forever) get that things have changed.
Yes we still need spaces for meeting, sharing ideas, collaborating and for areas of focused work.
But do we need everyone at a desk everyday? Or even every few days? It’s interesting to consider who benefited from traditional office culture, and who didn’t.
For those lamenting the changing workplace (men like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Alan Sugar in the UK), a large private office no doubt suited them very well.
They can’t understand why everyone else isn’t so keen to travel an hour each way on a crowded train to sit in an open plan office full of distractions and endless meetings, 5 days per week. They can’t empathise with parents who want to be at school pick up a few times a week.
Thankfully, companies like AirBnB are offering an alternative and employees everywhere are taking note.
As Chesky stated “the companies with the best talent will usually win and if you’re limiting your talent to a commuting radius you’re not going to have the best people because the best people will live everywhere”. I would add that many of the best people now know there’s a better way to balance family and work.
How have you reimagined your work / life balance?