Airbnb CEO Says ‘Don’t Think Of Your Workplace As A Family’, Here’s Why – News18

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In 2020, Airbnb laid off close to 1,900 employees. (Photo credits: Instagram)

In 2020, Airbnb laid off close to 1,900 employees. (Photo credits: Instagram)

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, in a letter to staff, highlighted the importance of not seeing the workplace as a family.

In the past year, several major tech giants, including Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, and even Google, faced significant layoffs. Airbnb, led by CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky, also had to implement employee cuts in 2020 amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Chesky emphasised the importance of not viewing the workplace as a family, despite the close bonds shared among colleagues. Previously, tech firms promoted the concept of a workplace family by offering perks like free meals, laundry services and gyms to foster trust. However, Chesky now believes that while considering the workplace as a family can be motivating, it may also hinder job performance for both managers and employees.

While appearing on Adam Grant’s ReThinking podcast in May, Brian Chesky revealed that he penned a note to employees explaining that the company would conduct layoffs. “I have a deep feeling of love for all of you,” he wrote. Elaborating further, he shared, “I wrote that letter fairly quickly. I didn’t have a lot of time and so I wrote what I felt and that’s what I felt, and I was pretty emotional when I was writing it. It is true that a company’s not a family. In fact, we had to make that pivot. We used to refer to ourselves as a family, and then we did have to fire people, or they’d have to leave the company, and you don’t fire members of your family.” He mentioned that no matter how much you like your colleagues, don’t think of your workplace as a family.

“I mean, they were leaving with equity. They were leaving with everything on their resume, like we created an alumni network. We have a very, by the way, robust alumni network, which is very unusual for a company. There’s a bond that’s extremely deep. That layoff letter that I wrote, I was not universally advised to do it. There was a lot of concerns about me being visible and present,” Brian Chesky added.

Brian Chesky admitted that he wasn’t running a family, or if it was a family, it would be a dysfunctional one. He aimed for everyone affected to understand that he personally made the decision and cared about them, even if he didn’t know each person individually. While some leaders prefer to maintain distance from employees, especially when it comes to firing them, Brian Chesky said he wanted to be emotionally involved. He observed that many layoff notices seemed impersonal as if they were written by AI rather than a human. He strived for his message to be distinct, more humane and to genuinely convey sympathy.

As per Fortune reports, Brian Chesky led Airbnb laid off close to 1,900 employees in 2020.