Salesforce’s reopening strategy should be a model for all

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As the COVID-19 pandemic tore through the world, we all had to rethink how we worked, studied and socialised. But things like working from home have always felt temporary and “when things go back to normal” is a phrase many have thrown around.

Salesforce wants to make working from home more permanent, at least for those who want to continue working in their PJs surrounded by creature comforts.

The firm’s president and (do we really have to use this title? Okay fine) chief people officer, Brent Hyder, has outlined how Salesforce will reopen its offices and how employees will work moving forward.

In order to guide these decisions, employee wellbeing surveys were used to ascertain how employees were feeling and how certain programmes and policies could be improved on.

“We learned that nearly half of our employees want to come in only a few times per month, but also that 80% of employees want to maintain a connection to a physical space. So we are giving employees flexibility in how, when and where they work with three ways of working,” writes Hyder.

The three ways of working are:

  • Flex – This is how most employees will work when it is safe to return to an office. Employees will be in the office for one to three days for team collaboration, meetings and presentations
  • Fully remote – For employees who aren’t near an office or have roles that don’t require being in an office, they can work remotely full-time.
  • Office based – For employees who would prefer being in an office full-time.

But the work weeks aside, what is key to Hyder’s proposal is flexibility for employees. This means shifting from shift based working to project based working.

“In our always-on, always-connected world, it no longer makes sense to expect employees to work an eight-hour shift and do their jobs successfully. Whether you have a global team to manage across time zones, a project-based role that is busier or slower depending on the season, or simply have to balance personal and professional obligations throughout the day, workers need flexibility to be successful,” said Hyder.

Now, we understand that not every business can function this way but for a firm like Salesforce, this approach makes a lot of sense. We often find ourselves watching the clock when our tasks for the day are done and wouldn’t it be great if we could just, leave and do something more productive?

Hyder’s update also goes through how Salesforce will adapt its workspaces to feature breakout spaces and community spaces.

What is promising is that a firm as big as Salesforce is considering that the 9 – 5, five day work week has run its course.

More than helping employees, allowing for fully remote work means Salesforce won’t have to shop for talent within geographic boundaries. For the firm this means being able to tap into resources it may previously have not considered.

Now we just need every other company to think like Salesforce and perhaps the end of our Industrial era way of working will come to an end.

If Hyder is allowed to dream, so are we.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.