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04/03/2020

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Salesforce: 'Reimagining' Office Space Post-Lockdown

05/25/2020

Salesforce, a software and cloud-computing company is evaluating the idea of work-from-home flexibility in the future. Based on the recent employee survey, the majority of Salesforce employees are willing to come back and work in the office, but not all five days of the workweek.

The company has more than 50,000 employees with offices in more than 160 locations around the world. It is a big undertaking for strategizing a reopening plan when each country, state and even city has differing mandates.

To craft a comprehensive plan, Salesforce has laid out “a set of guiding principles” that can be applied location by location. The principles include observing local government guidance where their offices are located, getting on-the-ground perspectives from Salesforce management, and analyzing the health care system capacity in each region.

Salesforce plans to “reimagine” the workplace and to schedule shifts within the building, managing different teams to come in at staggered times. Everything, even aspects that were once considered mundane will be reexamined. For example: When it comes to Elevators, Salesforce’s skyscraper in downtown San Francisco features a rooftop garden with a Starbucks and amphitheater and one must take an elevator to get there. What was once a convenient feature to take employees soaring through 61 floors of Salesforce Tower could now “bring the whole thing down”.

Part of the solution lies within a “new daily habit” that Salesforce will establish. Face coverings will be provided for all, reminders about handwashing will be brought up often, hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the office space and thermal infrared imaging for temperature reading will be performed at certain locations with large lobbies. Touchless temperature reading kiosk stations will be featured on every floor.

As part of their readiness plan, Salesforce is also working with building owners to go over a checklist of items regarding windows, air recirculation and exhaust systems. A new study suggests air conditioning systems can circulate and spread infected droplets in the air.

However, there are a lot of aspects that cannot be controlled, such as employees who take public transportation. But within the workplace, Salesforce plans to clean all day long, with several deep cleans per week.

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