Airbnb follows a holacracy model, or a sort of flat organizational structure, where teams are organized for projects, to move quickly and iterate fast, thus keeping a lean and flexible approach. Airbnb also moved to a hybrid model where employees can work from anywhere and meet on a quarterly basis to plan ahead, and connect to each other.
The five key features of Airbnb’s new organizational design
- 1. You can work from home or the office—whatever works best for you.
- 2. You can move anywhere in the country, like from San Francisco to Nashville, and your compensation won’t change.
- 3. You have the flexibility to live and work in 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location..
- 4. We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings. Most employees will connect in person every quarter for about a week at a time (some more frequently).
- 5. To pull this off, we’ll operate off of a multi-year roadmap with two major product releases a year, which will keep us working in a highly coordinated way.
Brian Chesky highlighted:
Why did we come up with this design?
The world has become more flexible. Our business wouldn’t have recovered as quickly from the pandemic if it hadn’t been for millions of people working from Airbnbs.”
And he further highlighted:
We also had the most productive two-year period in our company’s history—all while working remotely.
But he also emphasized:
But there’s a tension.
The most meaningful connections happen in person. Zoom is great for maintaining relationships, but it’s not the best way to deepen them. And some creative work is best done in the same room.
The right solution should combine the efficiency of Zoom with the meaningful human connection that happens when people come together.
Our design attempts to combine the best of both worlds.
From open floors and on-site perks to flexibility and remote working
As Brian Chesky highlighted:
Two decades ago, Silicon Valley startups popularized open floor plans and on-site perks. Today’s startups have embraced flexibility and remote work. I think this will become the predominant way companies work 10 years from now
This is a critical point, as the trend to understand is exactly that. Today’s employees might value way more flexibility and remote working, rather than open floors, and on-site perks.
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