This week, Airbnb’s new remote policy, the role of a chief listening officer, an anti-procrastination café in Tokyo and how designers are rethinking the offices of the future. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

Airbnb this week announced that its employees will have freedom to work from anywhere, only coming back into the office if they want to. Meanwhile some companies are rethinking office design in a bid to lure back employees and in Japan, some remote workers have turned to an anti-procrastination café in order to stay motivated.

What else matters this week?


US Vice President Kamala Harris is to host a meeting with union leaders seeking to represent workers at Starbucks, Amazon and more.


LinkedIn has agreed to pay $1.8million in compensation to underpaid female workers.


Aftershocks of the pandemic and war in Ukraine are posing a global economic risk of stagflation. How bad could it get?


Private companies in the US added 247,000 new jobs in April – less than expected.


We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines you can’t miss this week.


#1. Airbnb says employees can work from anywhere.


While some companies are intent on calling employees back to the office, Airbnb has announced that all employees will be able to work fully remotely forever, if they want to. This includes the freedom to choose whether to work from home or the office, but also to move states or even countries while working for the company. As part of its ‘design for employees to live and work anywhere’ Airbnb is working with local governments to ensure work visas, and plans to introduce a tiered salary system based on the cost of living in different locations.

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

#2. Tokyo’s anti-procrastination café.

Tucked away in the creative Koenji district lies Tokyo’s Manuscript Writing Café, where every seat is reserved for writers under pressure to hit a deadline. Enforcing this rule is taken seriously in order to maintain focus and a “tense atmosphere”, owner Takuya Kawai wrote in a tweet Upon entering writers keen to escape the distractions of home are asked how many words they need to write and when the work is due. They can then choose how often they want a staff member to come round and check on their progress, and perhaps bring over a coffee. One last detail - writers who enter must agree that they won’t leave until they have finished their writing task. Read more at The Guardian.

Photo: Pexels

#3. The role of a chief listening officer.

Does your company need a chief listening officer? Some experts say the role is essential for all companies to help monitor performance online and among employees.

Some challenges a chief listening officer can help with are:

  • Monitoring trends in online comments that mention the organisation and outlining best practice for responding

  • Training staff of how best to use company social media profiles

  • Taking feedback from employees to gauge satisfaction and areas for improvement

  • Communicating feedback from customers and employees to upper management

Read more at CNBC.

Photo: Pexels

#4. Rethinking the office of the future to make it a place employees want to spend time in.

Now that remote work is the preferred choice for many employees, some companies are rethinking how their physical space can best serve the people who (sometimes) work there. A key aspect of the office of the future is likely to be comfort, as workers have enjoyed this aspect of working from home. Another is leaning towards a more democratic layout. Instead of powerful executives staking claim to corner offices, we might well see them giving the space up for communal activities.

Other offices are rethinking how their spaces could better serve disabled employees. Listen to more at Fast Company.

Photo: Unsplash

#5. New York’s salary transparency law will take effect this month.

May 2022 will see two new workplace laws come into effect in New York. First up, the digital workplace monitoring law states that employers who monitor employee electronic communications must give written notice to new-hires and post a notice in the workspace informing employees of this practice.

Secondly, the salary transparency law will make it illegal for companies to advertise jobs internally and externally without stating the minimum and maximal salary they are willing to pay future employees. The New York Commission on Human rights says doing so should help job seekers understand their rights.

Photo: Unsplash

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