Virus fuels working revolution
Leading companies are now looking to significantly change the working experience for employees due to the pandemic.
Most recently, Salesforce announced it will let all employees work “remotely part or full-time, after the pandemic”.
The software giant intends to scale-back its real estate footprint with more than 65 per cent of its workforce only coming into their offices for between one and three days a week. That is 25 per cent more than pre-pandemic.
Salesforce’s President Brent Hyder has blogged that “moving our offices to our homes is not always easy or comfortable” so the company has given each employee $250 towards office tools and equipment. That is in addition to $250 provided earlier in the year.
The company is also introducing a new three-pronged policy for employees. The first element is ‘flex’. When it is safe to return to the office, employees around the globe will work one-to-three days per week in a Salesforce building.
The second prong is ‘fully remote’, for employees who do not live near an office or have roles that do not require an office. They can work remotely all the time.
And thirdly, there’s ‘office-based’. The smallest portion of the workforce will work from an office location four-to-five days per week if their roles require it.
Salesforce’s latest move is similar to several other tech companies. But some are also looking to change the office environment to respond to employees’ needs for more flexibility.
Amazon recently announced it is building a second headquarters, in Virginia, which will offer a wide array of accommodations for people when they return to office working.
A huge $2.5 billion mixed-use complex for 25,000 employees will include three 22-storey office and retail buildings. It will also include houses, woodlands, an amphitheatre, walking paths, extensive bike parking and a dog run. In essence, it is an attempt to blend home and work life.
And Facebook has bought a 400,000-square-foot corporate campus from the outdoor-lifestyle retailer REI which incorporates the external environment including outdoor staircases, a bridge, courtyard, and skylights for workers to see the sky.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is also planning to build a massive company-town project in California which combines houses, retail stores, parks and recreation facilities on a vast campus spanning 40 acres.
Gary Jowett, from Computer & Network Consultants (CNC) in Brighton, said: “The moves by major companies reflect a significant shift in employer and employee-attitudes towards work and the workplace. As the organisations making big moves to reduce office-based jobs or to blur the lines between work and recreation are highly influential, it’s likely that many more companies will seek to redesign the working experience in the interests of greater loyalty and productivity.”