Cloud computing company Salesforce is joining other Silicon Valley tech giants in announcing a substantial shift in how it allows its employees to work. In a blog post published Tuesday, the company says the “9-to-5 workday is dead” and that it will allow employees to choose one of three categories that dictate how often, if ever, they return to the office once it’s safe to do so.
Salesforce will also give employees more freedom to choose what their daily schedules look like. The company joins other tech firms like Facebook and Microsoft that have announced permanent work-from-home policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we enter a new year, we must continue to go forward with agility, creativity and a beginner’s mind — and that includes how we cultivate our culture. 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,” writes Brent Hyder, Salesforce’s chief people officer.
“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,” Hyder adds. “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.”
Hyder cites picking up young kids from school or caring for sick family members as reasons why an employee should not be expected to report to work on a strict eight-hour shift every day. He also points to how the removal of strict in-office requirements will allow Salesforce to expand its recruitment of new employees beyond expensive urban centers like San Francisco and New York.
In the blog post, Hyder defines the three different categories of work as flex, fully remote, and office-based. Flex would mean coming into the office one to three days per week and typically only for “team collaboration, customer meetings, and presentations,” and Salesforce expects most of its employees to fall into this category.
Fully remote is what it sounds like — never coming into the office except perhaps in very rare situations or for work-related events. Office-based employees will be “the smallest population of our workforce,” Hyder says, and constitute employees whose roles require them be in the office four to five days per week.
“Our employees are the architects of this strategy, and flexibility will be key going forward,” Hyder writes. “It’s our responsibility as employers to empower our people to get the job done during the schedule that works best for them and their teams, and provide flexible options to help make them even more productive.”