Article: Goodbye to the modern office: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff signals new shift

Leadership

Goodbye to the modern office: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff signals new shift

'I’m sorry to all my friends, but we’re not all going back,' advises Marc Benioff on plans to return to the office. His company is instead investing in immersive workspaces
Goodbye to the modern office: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff signals new shift

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff may have spearheaded the company's shift into its landmark office tower in San Francisco back in 2018. 

But, in today's pandemic economy, Benioff is one of a handful of CEOs championing remote work as the default model for their organisation.

Just three years earlier, the software firm moved into the corporate tower, designating it as the nerve centre of operations for a 75,000-strong workforce. 

"We built these gorgeous towers," Benioff said of the company's properties around the world, when he appeared at the recent Code Conference.

Today, employees are "mostly at home – and that’s fine," he said.

This sentiment may be uncommon among other titans of industry, many of whom purportedly reach out to Benioff about their own plans to return to a physical location.

For the Salesforce chief, however, the future holds a different story: employees will only come to congregate for meetings, training sessions, and special events. 

"I’m sorry to all my friends, but we’re not all going back," he said.

Investing in remote/hybrid work

Benioff isn't an evangelist of the work-from-home model for nothing. The WFH revolution that began only as an experiment at the height of lockdowns prompted Salesforce to acquire Slack, another game-changing software that emerged years before the WFH era.

Salesforce purchased the team collaboration platform for US$27.7bn. The company believes the acquisition and the introduction of newer features of the platform are an investment into the remote/hybrid future, particularly into an interactive and immersive workspace.

"An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our towers," said Brent Hyder, President and Chief People Officer at Salesforce.

"The 9-to-5 workday is dead, and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks."

Hyder believes investing in a work-from-anywhere model will "unlock new growth opportunities" that drive greater equality. 

"Our talent strategy is no longer bound by barriers like location, so we can broaden our search beyond traditional city centres and welcome untapped talent from new communities and geographies," Hyder said.

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Topics: Leadership, #HybridWorkplace

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