June 14, 2024
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Airbnb CEO Shares “Brilliant Idea” On How To Combat Loneliness In The Workplace


Mr Chesky proposed a strategy for managers

A recent Glassdoor report reveals a troubling trend: loneliness is rising in workplaces, especially among younger employees. With 6 in 10  people with less than five years of experience feeling isolated, and social connections still struggling to recover from the pandemic, many say their companies have become less friendly. However, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky offers a promising solution to combat this issue.

In a conversation with Wharton psychologist Adam Grant on the ReThinking podcast, Mr Chesky proposed a strategy for managers. He suggested they identify pairs of employees who collaborate effectively and strategically place them on the same team. 

“I often do pair people,” he said. “Four years ago, we hired two creative directors. They worked together as like a duo… It worked so well that I started thinking about this notion of duos in other areas.”

The Airbnb CEO shared that a tactic originally meant to improve work output took on a broader purpose over time. 

“Sometimes it’s just hard for one person to be a unicorn, to be able to do everything, but if you could create duos, they could cover each other’s strengths,” CNBC quoted him on the podcast. “So giving people a shared journey to be on together I think is really important… It’s a brilliant idea.”

Responding to this, Grant said that having one friend at work significantly reduces the odds of loneliness. “And what really hit home for me… was the idea that I don’t always need to have a deep connection with everybody on my team. I need to have one person who I know has my back, who relies on me, as well as being someone that I can rely on,” the psychologist said. “I think that we’ve designed so much of work around teams that we’ve overlooked the importance of relationships of pairs,” he continued.

 

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