Airbnb is proposing a number of policy changes that governments and cities could adapt to improve remote working around the world.
The home rental platform released a white paper Thursday morning outlining the steps that venues and lawmakers can take “to harness the rise of remote work for their communities.” Recommendations include improving the visa process, encouraging visitor support for the local economy, and streamlining tax compliance.
“We don’t want to come in like we have the answers right now. No one is an expert and we want to be humble about our role, but I do think we are well suited to be the platform for sharing information around the world as we have such a large footprint.” Nathan BlecharczykAirbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, says londonbusinessblog.com. “This stuff isn’t necessarily easy, especially on an international level,” he adds, pointing to the visa process and tax codes.
Airbnb supports in-house remote working. In April, the company announced a new policy allowing employees to live and work anywhere. That includes the ability to work from 170 countries in any location for up to 90 days a year.
Overall, the rise of remote working is a boon for Airbnb. The company says that long-term stays, which it defines as 28 days or more, are fastest growing category on travel time.
Workers in a new country are likely to take long weekends or short trips to explore the area, where they can use Airbnb to book additional accommodations and experiences, Blecharczyk says. They can also use the platform to pre-visit a country before moving for remote work.
But the proposal also benefits the locations and economies people visit, Airbnb emphasizes. In the white paper, the company points to a: 2021 report of the Economic Innovation Group, which found that a remote worker incentive program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, generated nearly $20 million in additional local GDP in 2021 and about $1.6 million in state and local tax revenue. It adds that every dollar spent on the stimulus program resulted in $2.38 in new labor income locally.
Apart from the Airbnb report, a Pew Research Center Study published in February, it found that 60% of workers in remote jobs would prefer to work remotely most or all of the time after the pandemic.
After reviewing the processes of more than three dozen countries implementing some sort of digital nomad-friendly visa system, Airbnb proposes that governments implement visa programs for remote workers, streamline and simplify the application process, and offer visas for remote workers for more than a year. Those visas should also have access to accelerated approval (less than three weeks) and a discounted rate, Airbnb says, adding that countries should limit the requirements for a remote worker applicant.
Tax and financial incentives can also be used to bring in telecommuters and reduce the tax burden on the employee and his employer. Airbnb advises governments not to tax foreign sources of income, extend tourist tax exemptions for visitors with a remote work visa who want to book accommodation for their travels, and outline clear rules for what constitutes a permanent establishment.
Other recommended measures include lodging credits, high-speed internet support, discounts and volunteer opportunities to help integrate the individual into the area.
Airbnb has partnered with . so far 20 destinations worldwide to develop digital hubs for remote work, which have both long-term listing options and links to information about eligibility requirements and tax policies. The hubs, now rolling out through the end of the year, include Bali, Dubai, rural France and Tampa Bay, Florida.
“It’s all about supporting those who want to get out of their bubble and go elsewhere,” Blecharczyk says.