Feb 10, 2021 - Technology

Salesforce rethinks its Ivory Tower offices

Picture of Salesforce buildings
Photo: Salesforce

When I asked Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in an "Axios on HBO" interview last year whether he regretted investing so much in offices, especially in high-rise buildings, he told me to ask again in a year.

The latest: It's been nine months, but already Salesforce is envisioning a much more partial, limited return to the office for its workforce. The company announced Tuesday a new "work from anywhere" strategy that gives employees far more flexibility to choose what place they consider the office.

Driving the news: Salesforce said most employees will work from the office only one to three days a week, while some will work fully remotely. It now foresees that only the smallest share of its workforce will come to an office each day.

  • That will also mean using its physical space differently. "Gone are the days of a sea of desks — we'll create more collaboration and breakout spaces to foster the human connection that can't be replicated remotely," Salesforce said in a blog post announcing the changes.

Between the lines: It's a major shift for Salesforce, which has always gone big pursuing its goal of bringing people together, both with its preference for skyscraper offices and its massive Dreamforce conferences, which have historically taken over a huge swath of downtown San Francisco.

The big picture: Companies across the technology field similarly foresee a more flexible approach to work, where many workers come into the office only on certain days and some work entirely remotely.

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