Salesforce will give all employees the option to work from home for the rest of 2020, regardless of when their office location opens up.
The timing of each office opening will depend on the guidelines from local public health and government authorities and will be a phased process, the company says.
Salesforce has over 160 office locations. In Asia, where shelter-in-place rules are being relaxed, some of its offices will begin opening later this month.
Salesforce will give all employees the option to work from home for the rest of the year, regardless of when their local office location opens up, the company said Thursday.
"For us, the timing of when we bring employees back into our offices will be unique to each office—we'll make those decisions on a city-by-city basis, in a way that's consistent with local government guidelines and in line with the advice of our medical experts," Amy Weaver, chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post.
Salesforce has over 160 office locations around the world and compares its reopening process to being like a "light dimmer, not a light switch."
In Asia, where businesses are slowly opening their doors, Salesforce will begin reopening offices in phases later this month, while it hasn't made any announcements around its San Francisco headquarters. By allowing employees to choose to work from home through 2020 regardless of whether their office is open, Salesforce follows Facebook's precedent. Twitter, another San Francisco-based company, told employees they could work from home indefinitely.
"We're not going to open up the doors and have everyone at the company back at their desks on day one," Elizabeth Pinkham, Salesforce's global head of real estate wrote in a blog post last week. "Instead, we are looking at the return as a phased approach starting with the employees that are most critical to our office operations."
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff previously tweeted a series of steps that were necessary to reopen business on June 1, including the ready availability of antibody and viral testing for COVID-19. He told Axios earlier this week that he hopes that the US is "weeks away from that and not months away from that."
Salesforce executives have said they see the coronavirus crisis as having three phases: a crisis response, recovery and reopening, and the new normal. Right now, businesses and organizations (including Salesforce) are entering that extended recovery and reopening phase, they said.
To help, the company recently released a set of products to guide organizations in that process, including tools to track the employee health data and shift management software.
"We'll continue to innovate around Work.com as we learn from our own efforts and those of our customers," Weaver said in the blog post.
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