I guess there’s no denying that the workplace as we know it has likely been changed forever. Most offices have been shut down for a year or more, and were forced to figure out how to do 100% remote work on the fly. Some places were well-prepared, others weren’t. And since the day that workers began this remote work over a year ago, many have not been back to their offices. I have not been back to my office since March 2020, not even to so much as grab essentials or clear out food.
With remote work being my indefinite future, my boyfriend and I decided to Airbnb hop, which we have been doing for the last nine months (since December 2020). And apparently we are not the only ones that had this idea.
According to Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky, half of Airbnb rentals these days are for one week or longer. People are no longer rushing back to get home after they take vacations, because the main thing people typically return to is their job. Their job that they can now do pretty much anywhere. For most remote workers, that job is now wherever they want it to be as long as there is wifi.
Mr. Chesky also said that one-fifth of Airbnb rentals these days are for one month or longer. So people REALLY are not rushing back home now. They are renting homes and staying there as long as they feel like it, and taking their laptop along with them. They are vacationing, seeing other cities, spending time with family and friends, and working all at the same time.
Mr. Chesky goes on to say, nowdays, after compensation, the next perk that employees are looking for is flexibility. Everybody is realizing they don’t want to be stuck in the office or stuck in the same city. Some employees feel like the uncertainty of the pandemic makes them want an employer that won’t send them back to the office before they are comfortable doing so. In addition to a good salary, they want freedom and flexibility, they want to make their own decisions about when to be in the office.
This data syncs up perfectly with what we’ve been experiencing on our Airbnb journey. When we first started on this lifestyle, we would go to the Airbnb website and see an abundance of rental options in pretty much any city we searched. Nowdays we are seeing slim pickins. Where we once saw homes with two and three bedrooms in our price range, we are now seeing basement apartments and one-bedroom condos. It has gotten challenging to do our home search. Every time we realize it’s time to look for our next location, we honestly hate it. We used to love looking at homes and exploring our options, but now we just feel like the search will be so daunting that we’re no longer in the mood to do it.
I will be interested in seeing if this uptick will continue now that schools are being held in person and families with children have to go back to their home base. And I definitely look forward to seeing whether this trend continues or whether rental options level off now that it’s fall and school is back in session.
Have you done a long-term Airbnb during the pandemic? What workplace flexibilities would you like to see as a result of current events?
Let me know!