Airbnb Portland Office Tour

*photo credit Jeremy Bittermann

Recap: 3/20/18

Hosted by LWD member Emily Steen at the Portland Airbnb office

March’s monthly meeting was an office tour of Airbnb in Old Town. We had a great turn out and lots of energy for this tour, so we’ll likely do more tours in the future!

The tour was led by Justin (a member of the Ground Control Team) and Sara (from the Customer Service Team). The office has been growing organically over the last 4 years. It started with just 2 floors and now they inhabit most (if not all) of the 4 floors in the building located in Portland’s historic White Stag Block. Although the growth of the office has been organic the major goals of the office space are based upon 3 pillars – ‘makers welcome’, ‘home of citizenship’ and ‘revolutionize work’. These serve as a thread through the space.

The office features several communal kitchens (always stocked full of bulk bin treats, kombucha on tap and tea), lounge spaces, meeting rooms and landing pads for personal storage. No one in the company has an office, but everyone is provided a small secured place to put their belongings. About 30% of the office is standing workspaces, 30% open lounge workspace and the rest is communal space and support spaces.

Portland based Bora Architects completed the main space design in 2014. Since that time the Airbnb Environments Team has continued to create visions for the offices, each employee is welcomed to design a room if they so choose. They are give budgets and timelines and must submit their designs for review. Sara showed us the bathroom that she had designed as part of a small team. For the design of the building they used the Well Certification standards.

Airbnb has an internal food team to serve their teams breakfasts and lunches in their own restaurant, they supply their teams with beer and wine (after 4pm) and have an internal giraffe program to recognize exemplary employees. They also provide access to ergonomic consultants to recommend props for a more personalized ergonomic working environment. Just a few example of how they are revolutionizing the working environment and keeping a stellar attrition rate!

Entry Mural:

The mural was designed by Will Bryant and it incorporates ideas of each pillars. Much of the artwork around the office is portraits of employees or created by employees.

entry mural

Meeting Rooms:

The office features a variety of unique workspaces and meeting rooms of all different typologies. All the of the meeting rooms (except a few themed rooms) are based off real Airbnb listings.


Landing Pad:

The office incorporates the idea of location independence – each employee is given a ‘landing pad’ to store their personal belongings and then are free to work in many of the various spaces of the office.

landing pads

Bear Shark:

Crazy great sculpture was conceived of and created by an employee. It took him 5 months to concept and fabricate it, never having created a sculpture before! He created it in his living room and even flew his dad in to help complete it.