The News: An article by Business Insider confirms that Salesforce extends its work from home policy till end of July 2021 and gives parents six more weeks of vacation. You can read the Business Insider article here.
Analyst Take: As we have been discussing at Futurum, this is the continued trend we see with large companies letting employees work from home on a long-term basis. I recently wrote a research note about Google extending its work from home policy till end of June, 2021 and companies like Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and Siemens are letting employees work from home indefinitely. This is why tech vendors such as Cisco, HPE, Microsoft, and Siemens are rapidly releasing updated or new solutions that support remote and hybrid workforce scenarios.
Salesforce is also giving employees $250 (in addition to the $250 it has already given) to purchase work from home office supplies. Even more impressive is that Salesforce is giving parents six additional weeks of paid time off and the company also says that parents and guardians can work from home past next August if they are in areas where schools are closed and students have to continue remote learning. Clearly, Salesforce is showing empathy for its employees who are trying to endure the COVID-19 pandemic. This validates my prediction that in order for tech employers to compete for and retain top talent, on-site perks like free lunch will not be as appealing, and other benefits like higher salary, vacation time and training will be differentiators. An empathetic approach seems to be working for Salesforce as it announced one of its best quarters yet, as the company confirmed in a recent tweet.
My other prediction around extended work from home policies is the influence on real estate and the decentralization of tech hubs. As tech talent will be able to work from anywhere, employees will want to move away from high home and rent prices and bumper-to-bumper commutes. This news clip by the Bay area’s NBC affiliate confirms that area rents are falling as workers flee to find cheaper rent prices as they work from home. And, according to a report by Blind, of the 3,300 tech workers surveyed in the Bay Area, 15% indicate they have already left since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
I predict that most big companies will succumb to the fact that most employees will be working from home permanently. Salesforce reports that it has over 160 office locations worldwide and the timing of each office opening depends on the guidelines from local public health and government authorities. But, as the timeline for the COVID-19 pandemic ending is up in the air, it’s wise for Salesforce and the like to extend its work from home policies and continue to accommodate the needs of a virtual workforce. This means making sure a virtual infrastructure is in place, and processes and business applications are adjusted to accommodate a remote and hybrid workforce. Collaboration tools that allow remote and on-site workers to work together in real-time will be crucial and up-to-date knowledge of these newly released tools will be as well.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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Sarah most recently served as the head of industry research for Oracle. Her experience working as a research director and analyst extends across multiple focus areas including AI, big data and analytics, cloud infrastructure and operations, OSS/BSS, customer experience, IoT, SDN/NFV, mobile enterprise, cable/MSO issues, and managed services. Sarah has also conducted primary research of the retail, banking, financial services, healthcare, higher ed, manufacturing, and insurance industries and her research has been cited by media such as Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, VentureBeat, ReCode, and various trade publications, such as eMarketer and The Financial Brand.