By Brent Hyder, President & Chief People Officer of Salesforce
The past year has brought about rapid and remarkable transformation that has forever changed us.
At Salesforce, our culture is cultivated in our immersive spaces — from our Towers cropping up in cities around the world to our 140,000-person community gatherings like Dreamforce.
Overnight, that all changed.
We had to transform our approach to everything from our products to our events in order to meet the needs of our customers, partners, employees and communities.
So we brought Dreamforce into the living rooms of our global community, and we introduced new technology like Work.com to help our customers navigate the pandemic. Today, we’re playing a life-saving role in vaccine management within organizations, and in dozens of cities, states, and countries with our Vaccine Cloud.
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.
As employers, we have an opportunity to create an even better workplace — one that allows us to be more connected to each other, find more balance between work and home, and advance equality — ultimately leading to increased innovation and better business outcomes.
Here’s how we’ll get there, together:
Changing how we work
Early on in the pandemic, we introduced employee wellbeing surveys to understand how our employees were feeling and help address pain points as we moved our offices to our homes. It’s led to real change in our programs and policies, including extended parental leave, childcare benefits, office set-up stipends and more.
This employee feedback has guided our re-opening strategy and how we’ll work going forward. 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:
- Flex – When it’s safe to return to the office, most of our employees around the globe will work flex. This means they’ll be in the office 1-3 days per week for team collaboration, customer meetings, and presentations.
- Fully Remote – For employees who don’t live near an office or have roles that don’t require an office, they will work remotely full-time.
- Office-based – The smallest population of our workforce will work from an office location 4-5 days per week if they’re in roles that require it.
Our employees are the architects of this strategy, and flexibility will be key going forward. 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.
Driving greater equality
This work-from-anywhere model will unlock new growth opportunities that will help us drive greater equality. Our talent strategy is no longer bound by barriers like location, so we can broaden our search beyond traditional city centers and welcome untapped talent from new communities and geographies.
And creating more flexible schedules removes hurdles that may make it more difficult to be in the office daily — from picking up kids to caring for sick family members.
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.
At the same time, we acknowledge that as the nature of our workforce changes, we will have to be even more intentional about our culture and cultivating an environment of inclusion, belonging, and equality.
Reimagining our spaces
We have always been an innovator when it comes to our real estate. We opened Towers around the world, including the tallest office building west of the Mississippi in San Francisco, our HQ. And we created our own design standard, so everyone who entered our buildings felt the spirit of our culture. For us, our real estate is about more than architecture and design. It’s about creating a place that has a lasting positive impact on our employees, partners, customers, communities and the environment around us.
So when we thought about how to reimagine our spaces, we saw an incredible opportunity to create the office of the future.
The majority of our employees will go back to the office at least some of the time. And we’ve learned that 80% of our employees are hungry for the connection, camaraderie and innovation that come from gathering in-person.
To start, we’ll be redesigning our workspaces over time as community hubs to accommodate a more hybrid workstyle. 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.
Prioritizing health and safety
As we return to the office, health and safety will remain a top priority.
We know the vaccine is on everyone’s mind and will play an important role in our path to return — but there are a lot of unknowns. Vaccine management and distribution is an incredibly new and complex challenge, raising consequential questions about privacy, equity and trust.
We’ve created a taskforce to work through a global and equitable vaccine management plan, and will continue to prioritize employee health, safety and wellbeing with the use of our own products, like Work.com.
While the vaccine is our ultimate path to office life, managing the spread of COVID-19 carefully will remain critical for most of the year. There will be new protocols like at home wellness attestations and temperature screenings before entry (where applicable), face coverings, regular and frequent deep cleaning, manual contact tracing and more.
This isn’t just the future of work, this is the next evolution of our culture. We’re combining the strength of our values, our platform and our people to reimagine the way we work for the better — whether in-person or in the cloud. Everyone has a role to play in driving our culture and no lone leader or employee can succeed without the strength of our community behind them. At Salesforce, we’re looking to our most valuable asset — our people — to help lead us into the future.
(The original post can be read HERE.)