Cloud computing company Salesforce announced that they will allow employees to continue working from home, even when it is safe to return to the office. The new initiative, called “Work From Anywhere,” offers workers three different options: flex, fully remote, and office-based.
Salesforce: The 9-to-5 Workday is Dead
The “flex” option will allow employees to report to the office one to three times a week and is suitable for tasks that are challenging to execute over video calls, such as customer meetings and team collaborations. The flex schedule is likely going to be the most commonly selected option by employees worldwide.
The “fully remote” alternative is reserved for employees who don’t work near one of the company’s offices or whose work doesn’t require being in a physical office. According to the company, only a small subset of their workforce will be working in the office four to five days per week.
Salesforce’s president, Brent Hyder announced the change in a blog post, saying that the 9-to-5 workday is a thing of the past. “An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead, and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks,” Hyder wrote.
While Hyder didn’t specify when employees will be expected to return to the office, he noted that Salesforce will continue to take the COVID-19 situation seriously. The company plans to enforce safety rules, such as temperature screenings, deep cleaning, face coverings, manual contact tracing, and at-home wellness declarations.
Salesforce employees were initially told that they could work from home until August 2021, but the company’s plans seem to have changed. Like many other firms, Salesforce began reopening its 160-offices worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to introduce certain changes in their offices. Hyder wrote that their offices will be redesigned as “community hubs,” replacing the rows of desks with collaboration and breakout spaces.
Early on the pandemic, Salesforce introduced a 21-page handbook, addressing challenges, such as how to safely reopen office spaces. The plan covered the rethinking of used materials in the office, the installation of glass dividers, and mandating social distancing, even in elevators.
CEO Marc Benioff told reporters that they have created a more “sterile” and “hospital-like” environment by introducing changes in the office, including removing desk decorations and employee-available jars of gummy bears.
However, with the distribution of vaccines across the US, Salesforce appears to be envisioning a life without the virus: with unmasked people chatting in the halls and no dividers or distancing signs to be seen.