Hashtag Trending – Bill Gates on the future of business travel; Airbnb bounce back; Cleaning robots

In-person meetings are not the go-to anymore says Bill Gates, Airbnb is bouncing back, and robot cleaners for the workplace.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, November 18, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.


Does that meeting really need to be in person? You might start asking yourself this question more often. Bill Gates says that in-person meetings aren’t the go-to anymore and that 50 per cent of business travel will go away even after the pandemic. He also says he thinks that over 30 per cent of days in the office will go away. The pandemic is really making companies reconsider how employees work. Employers like Twitter and Slack have said employees may work remotely forever. Microsoft plans on doing a hybrid of work models. Gates did say there are downsides like it harder to make new friends because you are not meeting in person. Regardless, he says the threshold for companies to go on travel trips will be very high.


During the early days of the pandemic, Airbnb bookings took quite the hit. Now there is a surprising recovery going on. As the travel giant filed to go public Monday, it revealed that although revenue dipped more than 30 per cent year over year, it had a third-quarter profit of $219 million. This is attributed to local escapes and home rentals outside of big cities for their pandemic getaways. That shift “has been a boon for Airbnb’s core business,” according to Yahoo Finance.


Lastly, cleaning robots might be stepping into the office as the pandemic continues. The Verge reports that in the spring, hospitals started using robots that radiate ultraviolet light to kill germs and viruses. Airports and arenas are catching on the robot trend as arenas as using drones that spray disinfectant over stadium seats. Now offices are especially a priority. One Robot is called the Breezy One, it sprays a fine mist of virus-killing disinfectant onto surfaces. One plant owner told the Verge, “This robot’s going to be able to clean 200,000 square feet of office and conference rooms in two, maybe two and a half hours.” When cleaning by hand is not an option, well at least you have some robotic solutions.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening.

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