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COVID: Salesforce Says Most Employees Can WFH Once Offices Reopen - '9-To-5 Workday Is Dead'

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Declaring the 9-to-5 workday dead, San Francisco-based computing giant Salesforce announced that most employees could work from home at least some of the time, once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

"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," Brent Hyder, the company's president and chief people officer said in a statement.

"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 went on to say.

Hyder said they plan to offer three options to employees once offices reopen, citing employee feedback during the pandemic claiming that most employees wanted to only be at the office a few times a month, but also wanted connection to a physical space.

According to Hyder, most of the company's 50,000 worldwide employees would be under the "Flex" option, where employees would be in the office 1-3 days a week for team collaboration, customer meetings and presentation.

Meanwhile, employees can go fully remote if they don't live near one of the company's offices or have roles that don't require an office.

Hyder said roles that require physically being at the office would still be at offices 4 to 5 days a week, but said that consists of "the smallest population of our workforce."

"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," the company said. "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."

Hyder also announced that workspaces would be redesigned over time as so-called "community hubs" with more collaboration and breakout spaces.

"I think it's a bit of a slippery slope right, I mean in one way it's great for people like me that work in tech and we're able to have that flexibility to be at home and do our due diligence and work there, but at the same time, with the commercial real estate, a lot of money is going to waste," said Eric Moore of San Francisco.

The Salesforce Tower debuted in 2018 with much fanfare, featuring 60 stories of office space.

Since COVID, many surrounding small businesses are permanently boarded up.

"There's this pretty cheap sushi place near where I live that is no longer in business," said Financial District resident Minh Tran.

Despite the corporate and retail vacancies, some residents doesn't mind a quieter downtown.

"I personally think it was too crazy, I mean I love having people around, but at the same time I just love having a little peaceful moment just being able to walk by the water," said resident Ronny Moore.

"I think having the option to either go to the office or work from home is a good option," said Ronny Moore.

Salesforce joins a host of other Bay Area tech firms that have announced flexible work options since the onset of the pandemic a year ago. Twitter and Square announced last May that employees would be allowed to work from home "permanently." Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that up to half of the company's employees could work remotely by the end of the decade.

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