Long gone are the days of clocking in and out of your workplace at the same time, as people from all over the world can potentially work remotely from wherever they want.
Inspired by this and the significant shift in how people are travelling, Airbnb announced several new features for its platform that focus on flexibility, including capitalizing on the growing remote working trend ahead of the anticipated surge in leisure travel.
This week, the tech giant introduced over 100 upgrades to refine and improve its service, including features that give guests even more flexibility when it comes to planning their travel as they'll soon be able to look for a place without specifying exact destinations and dates, instead they can choose from weekend getaways to stays for a month or more in specific accommodations.
“We are seeing three fundamental shifts in travel as people become less tethered and more flexible,” said Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb.
"People can travel anytime, they are travelling to more places, and they are staying longer. The lines between travel, living, and working are blurring and we are upgrading our service to make it easier for people to integrate travel into their lives, and for more people to become Hosts,” said Chesky.
The move comes as Airbnb says more of its stays are lasting 28 days or more, with remote work allowing for longer and more flexible travel that facilitates both work and vacation, while travel destination searches are broadening.
With flexibility serving as the heart of the new features, customers can look forward to an improved browsing and booking experience that includes three new ways to search on Airbnb, including Flexible Dates, Flexible Matching, and Flexible Destinations.
Have you been dreaming of working from a lakefront cabin with a cozy fireplace or perhaps in a treehouse or a yurt? You'll soon be able to look for these specific accommodations (plus many more) anywhere in the world for whatever length suits your needs.
Flexible Dates, which started rolling out in February, makes it easier to find the best places to stay if you are flexible on when you go. Rather than searching with fixed dates, you can search for a weekend getaway, a week-long vacation or even a month-long stay.
Flexible Matching offers customers a broader selection of listing results when searching for a place to stay by surfacing homes just outside of their search parameters. This way, guests will never miss out on a great stay that falls just outside what was specified in a search. For example, if you searched for a beachfront home and set the max price per night at $250, Airbnb would still show options priced just above this.
Flexible Destinations is a new way to find a unique place to stay rather than travelling to a specific destination. Airbnb has over 170,000 one-of-a-kind properties to choose from, including ryokans in Japan, trullos in Italy, and castles in Spain, while other options include adobe houses to wagons.
Search capabilities are also improving to help people find their ideal place to stay. New filters will adapt to the season or location and allow people to search for homes near points of interest, such as national parks, or with very specific attributes such as whether the property has an ocean view or whether a fireplace is gas or wood-burning.
Airbnb also launched curated wishlists, a faster checkout process, updated review systems, and more straightforward cancellation policies. Guests will also receive a new arrival guide that provides information on how to get to their destination, how to get inside, and how to connect to the WI-FI.
Additionally, Airbnb is making changes for hosts that may help attract more people to list their homes. People who want to create a listing, for example, now have to follow just ten onboarding steps instead of dozens to get their profile started.
Airbnb says the feature release timing and availability may vary based on location.