Airbnb plants itself firmly into the corporate travel space

Airbnb for Work has rolled out a new strategic direction to bring the best of Airbnb to the professional world, and help foster a sense of belonging – even at work.

The home sharing company is expanding into three new areas to help companies attract, retain, and motivate talent: Experiences on Airbnb for team-building, Airbnb Homes for offsites and meetings, and new options for people relocating for work.

“We know there are unique attributes Airbnb can offer Australian and New Zealand companies to help them attract and retain talent,”  said David Holyoke, Global Head of Airbnb for Work.

“With the costs of replacing an employee estimated to be about 3X their salary, it’s more important than ever for companies to ensure employees are engaged and motivated at work.

“A relaxing environment helps people open up to connect;  a productive environment helps people achieve their shared goal more effectively; while helping people experience something new together helps teams bond and form meaningful connections.”

Team building — there’s more to it than trust falls

When people show vulnerability to each other and participate in activities together, they connect on a deeper level than when simply going out for drinks.

And, what’s good for people is good for businesses. According to Korn Ferry, companies with engaged employees make 2.5X the revenue and are 87 per cent more likely to retain their employees, with team building being one of the most effective ways to foster engagement within a company.

Unorthodox perks are an essential way to attract, retain and motivate top talent. Experiences, not cash, are the new corporate bonus.

In today’s hyper-competitive talent environment, once you’ve recruited great employees, you want to keep them. Journeys of self-fulfilment and discovery can produce the kind of creative sparks and life-clarifying moments that seldom come when staring dead-eyed at another PowerPoint.

Airbnb group Experiences — from sailing lessons to pastry-making classes with a Michelin chef — help teams bond and form meaningful connections.

These newly-featured Experiences for professionals introduce a better way for teams to bond, and are currently available in more than 800 markets around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, and available in a number of categories, including wellness, team-building, and social impact.

Airbnb homes for offsites and meetings

Providing individuals and teams with the freedom they need to grow and collaborate is top of mind for many companies. Our Evolution of Work study found that 65 per cent of Australian employees believe flexible work and the ability to work from home or co-working space when they want, or need to makes an employer more appealing to work for.

An overwhelming 81 per cent of Australians would like to work remotely, while 40 per cent are already doing it at least once a week.

The spaces where people spend time away from the office make a big difference. Sterile conference rooms aren’t motivating and don’t foster creativity.

However, relaxing and productive environments help people open up to connect and contribute; they help teams achieve their shared goals more effectively.

Knowing this, Airbnb for Work is now showcasing homes where teams can create and collaborate. These are homes where hosts indicate their unique spaces are suitable for events, and many have work-friendly amenities like wifi, self-check-in, etc.

We’ve already seen our community organically use Airbnbs for work offsites, and it’s clear companies could benefit from environments that can be catalysts for belonging and personal connection.

A new way to relocate for work

Today’s workforce is global and on the move. According to BDO, nearly 20 per cent of employees around the world are eager to relocate.

We can all agree moving is stressful – friendships are tested, a partner’s career may be disrupted, and in a new place hardly anything can feel familiar.

Acclimating to a new community can be one of the most challenging parts of a move. So much so that according to a Right Management survey, more than 40 per cent of international assignments are judged to be failures by senior executives, with cultural adjustment issues being a top reason.

We also know most people want to test out neighbourhoods or be near new schools for their children (since 35 per cent of corporate moves involve children). People want to feel grounded the instant they move to a new place.

So, we’re expanding our work in relocations to help more professionals instantly feel like they belong in their new communities.

Imagine starting your first job out of college while living in a spacious modern condo in a trendy area, moving with your family into a spacious ranch home with a backyard in the perfect school district, or beginning a new chapter of your life by living in a Victorian classic near the office.

Finding a temporary home that actually feels like a home (access to a kitchen, washer/dryer, etc.) provides a much-needed sense of familiarity that can help people cope with the chaos of a relocation.

Airbnb for Work – now more than just business travel

Offering unique ways to travel for work will remain core to Airbnb for Work, but we estimate only 25 per cent of employees within a company travel for work. With Airbnb for Work’s new expansion into team-building experiences, homes for offsites and meetings, and relocations, we now have an opportunity to bring the magic of Airbnb to the rest of the workforce.

We’re looking forward to expanding our Airbnb professional community by continuing to improve the ways professionals collaborate, create and grow – from single freelancers to companies with 100,000+ employees.