Airbnb recently told employees they can work remotely permanently, but when they do return to the office it’ll likely look different.
“I think an office as we know it is kind of an outdated notion,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit on Wednesday. “It’s primarily, as it’s currently designed, an anachronistic form factor from a pre-digital age.”
He said that the company “100%” plans to redesign its offices — but admitted he doesn’t know exactly what it will look like.
“I thought we had a pretty cool office design before,” he said. “I would like us to be innovative in the office and workplace design of the future and I think we have to live in this new world to figure out what it’s going to look like. But the office of the future should not resemble at all the office of the past because the world is changing.”
One thing he did predict was the fall of the open office floor plan.
“The open floor plan with these meeting rooms that everyone’s waiting in line to get in and no one can find a meeting room, all of that is I think a thing of the past.”
With its new flexible work policy, Chesky said the company plans for employees to gather in person for about a week every quarter “to make sure there is human connection.”
The shift to remote work also means the company will spend less money on office space and have a smaller office footprint, he said, since only a small fraction of its employees will be at the office at the same time.