Back in March, when companies across the country began announcing that employees should work from home due to the impending threat of COVID-19, some of us foolishly thought we'd enjoy a couple of weeks working remotely from our couches with the TV buzzing in the background and our pets snuggled up next to us. Six months later, many are still at home and that laidback setup we were initially excited about has turned into a neverending, cooped up, crazy-making nightmare. As some companies commit to permanent remote work situations and others continuously push back office returns, workers are turning to Airbnb as a way to cope.
Today, Airbnb released data around remote working trends and revealed that rentals booked through the platform have become a longer-term option for more guests who are working from home. Guests are booking long-term rentals for a variety of reasons, like escaping their cramped urban living situations and coronavirus hotspots to get into the great outdoors, spending time near family, and even booking workspaces that are close to but separate from their homes.
Airbnb reports that the volume of reviews by U.S. guests mentioning "remote working" or "work remotely" since the start of the pandemic has nearly tripled from the same period last year. Since long-term stays are up, searches for pet-friendly spots have also increased. The cats and dogs that have grown accustomed to us being home all day every day can't be left to fend for themselves, after all. According to Airbnb, the number of amenities searched using the "allow pets" filter jumped 90% compared to last year.
Select areas are seeing more long-term stays than others. The fastest-growing locations for stays of more than 28 nights are Stratton, Stowe, and Windsor County in Vermont; Portland and Western Maine; Whitefish, Montana; Summit County and Steamboat Springs in Colorado; Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; and Utica, Saratoga Springs, and the Adirondacks in New York. What do all those spots have in common? They are outside of densely-populated urban areas and provide guests with access to nature, two elements we know remote workers are looking for during this time.
Last week, Airbnb announced an indefinite global ban on house parties at all rentals listed on the platform. It looks like the company is really switching gears post-pandemic to be a lot more work and a lot less about play.