If you're reading this in North America, you may be surprised to hear that Salesforce has already opened 22 of its global offices.
The reopening of Salesforce Tower, its San Francisco HQ, is slated for May 2021.
As the pandemic plays out, the $17 billion software giant has already revealed its plans for the future of work, called “Success From Anywhere.” As the name suggests, Salesforce is planning to build more flexibility into employee work schedules for its nearly 50,000 employees worldwide.
Lessons from Australia
In a recent blog post, the company described the lessons learned in Sydney, Australia, where offices were reopened in August 2020.
- Thursday is the New Monday - Thursday is the most popular day of the week for employees to show up at HQ.
- More flexibility = more productivity - “ Employees are 16% more likely to agree they are more productive at home, and 13% more likely to agree that their teams are more productive at home than in the office.”
- More flexibility = more balance - employees working at home were 20% more likely to take wellbeing breaks.
- HQ is now a place for connection and collaboration - as many have predicted, the office will be less for heads-down work (which can be done more effectively elsewhere) but more for interaction. Salesforce reports that when employees returned to the office, they used 64% of collaboration spaces, compared to only 24% of desk space.
Salesforce’s approach to reopening
While Australia and some other parts of Asia Pacific are fully reopened, Salesforce is implementing a phased reopening in the rest of the world.
- Phase 1: Volunteer Vaccinated Cohorts - In some of its U.S. offices, the company will allow fully vaccinated employees to voluntarily join 100-person groups that will work on designated floors.
- Phase 2: Phased Reopening - In this phase, “offices will gradually reopen from 20% to 75% capacity, depending on the COVID data rating and local guidance.” Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees will be allowed back to the office. The company notes that currently 17 offices, in Asia Pacific, are open in this phase.
- Phase 3: Fully Open - At this point, all employees will be allowed back to the office.
Even once the company’s offices are fully open worldwide, it appears that Salesforce is embracing flexibility as a core operating principle. Brent Hyder, President and Chief People Officer says that “we’re encouraging all employees to Flex Forward to a new, better way of working — we’ll put Who, What, and Why before Where work happens, whether that be in an office, at a customer site, or in a cafe.”