Salesforce is calling some employees back to the office • The Register

Salesforce is calling some employees back to their desks to counteract slowing growth, though CEO Marc Benioff said earlier this year that going back to white-collar jobs “isn’t working.”

Workers who live near offices have reportedly been asked to enter three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, starting this week. This was posted by a senior executive through Slack’s messaging systems to hundreds of employees, a fraction of the 73,000 that Salesforce employs.

Employees were instructed to hold eight meetings a week with clients — half of them in person — and give bi-weekly presentations. This is intended to “drive more collaboration and success” this quarter, the manager said.

A Salesforce spokesperson said: “We have a hybrid work environment that allows leaders and teams to work together in a purposeful way. They can choose when and where to come together to collaborate, innovate and drive customer success.”

Calls for a return from some companies follow slowing revenue growth at the company, which this week reported a 14 percent increase in revenue for the period ended Oct. 31 to $7.84 billion. Benioff said on the conference call with analysts that the percentage of remote workers for Salesforce was 20 percent before the pandemic and is now around 50 percent for many companies.

He said some roles at Salesforce, like factory workers, need to be on-site at its “hubs and core offices.”

“So I think we’re going to have a realignment. I think even at Salesforce we have what I would call factory jobs, people who do that have to be here, whether they’re maybe doing core work or even new people who maybe don’t have the tribal knowledge yet or need the mentorship or People coming out of college who benefit from being in the office. But we will never go back to how it was. We all know that.”

Benioff added, “I think we’re going to find a new way forward and there’s going to be more in office…but we’re going to keep the flexibility of being at home.”

This week, the company confirmed that co-CEO Bret Taylor is leaving the company in January, with the manager saying he’s decided to “go back to my entrepreneurial roots.” Gavin Patterson, Chief Strategy Officer, will also leave the company early next year.

External changes at the top, Salesforce is cutting headcount, but the company hinted last month that it’s simply related to sales performance.

Remote work has reduced the national real estate value by $453 billion as more workers choose hybrid working, according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research. Salesforce itself has leased two-thirds of its high-rise headquarters in San Francisco.

Snap employees are also reportedly being told by CEO Evan Spiegel that they are expected to be in the office 80 percent of the time starting in February.

In January of this year, Salesforce’s Benioff was crushed when employers were forcing their employees back into the office, saying that “such mandates will never work,” but that rule clearly doesn’t apply to everyone on the payroll. ® Salesforce is calling some employees back to the office • The Register

Rick Schindler

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