Salesforce CEO says he's 'always been a remote worker,' even though some of his employees have to return to the office
- Salesforce's CEO opened up about remote work, saying that he doesn't "work well in an office."
- His comments come after Salesforce mandated some of its workers to return to the office.
Marc Benioff, the Salesforce CEO, is the latest business leader to chime in on the return-to-office conversation.
"I'm a remote worker. I've always been a remote worker my whole life," Benioff told MSNBC last week during Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference. "I don't work well in an office. It just doesn't work with my personality."
His employees are another story.
"They need to mix in-person and remote together," he said. "Our engineers are extremely productive at home. We have lots of people who are extremely productive at home. But there also has to be sales people who are productive in the office."
Like many companies, Salesforce embraced remote work during the pandemic.
In February 2021, Brent Hyder, Salesforce's former chief people officer, wrote that "the 9-5 workplace is dead," and the company announced that it would allow some of its employees to work fully remote, even after it was safe to return to office.
But, also like a host of other major companies, Salesforce has altered its course.
Salesforce's return-to-office mandate now requires non-remote employees to go into the office three days a week. Non-remote and customer-facing employees have to go in four days a week, while engineers only have to work from the office 10 days each quarter.
Any employee can work remotely full time upon approval from their managers, according to the company's policies.
"For our new employees who are coming in, we know empirically that they do better if they're in the office, meeting people, being onboarded, being trained," Benioff said in a March interview on the podcast "On With Kara Swisher." "If they are at home and not going through that process, we don't think they're as successful."
In June, Salesforce incentivized workers to return to the office by offering a $10 charity donation for each day an employee worked in person.
Salesforce is one of many companies tied up in the return-to-office debate — though Benioff's position is lenient compared to that of other leaders.
At Amazon, workers have clashed with leadership since CEO Andy Jassy announced that most employees would have to return to the office at least three days per week beginning in May. Meta is threatening to fire employees who don't follow its policy of going into the office at least three a week. Goldman Sachs is requiring workers to be back in the office five days a week.
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