August 6, 2021

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, plans to put 50 to 60% of his employees at work after the pandemic and thus reinforces the idea that the approach could become standard

Can telecommuting become a standard in the information technology industry after the pandemic? This is more or less the opinion of the majority of participants in a developpez.com survey who believe that the IT landscape during the post-pandmic will be made of more work. On the question, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce is of the opinion that the pandemic has pushed us all to change. And we are in the process of creating a new working environment. We are going to work more at home. It is in this order that he plans to shift 50 to 60% of his employees to working.

The announcement follows that of Facebook which now gives the choice to most of its employees: ask permission to continue working from home or to go to the office at least half the time. At the same time, the firm is announcing the possibility of a reduction in the remuneration of those who choose to work and move to a less expensive region. The offer comes in a context where a considerable number of workers launched on the working formula would agree to see their wages reduced to continue with this approach.

The social networks giant announced Wednesday its some 60,000 employees that it would extend the right to work at all levels of the company, including employees at the beginning of careers and beginning engineers.

In addition, the company says it would likely open most of its US offices at half their capacity in September, then fully in October. At this time, employees who have not been authorized to stay away will be required to come to the office at least 50% of the time. In a separate memo to employees, managing director Mark Zuckerberg says he personally plans to spend half of the next year working remotely.

Facebook’s workplace update comes as the biggest companies in Silicon Valley develop plans to reopen offices, many of which combine remote and on-site work.

Across all industries, many companies are offering their employees greater flexibility than before the pandemic, as they adopt plans to return to the office. This is especially the case in Silicon Valley, where many tech companies have seen their employees leave the Bay Area to settle in less expensive places during the pandemic.

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, said it would adopt a hybrid schedule, in which most employees would work in the office three days a week, while some would be allowed to work permanently from home or move to another office. Apple recently said it wants most office workers to show up on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the ability to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Spotify adopted a working model in February that let employees choose whether they want to return to the office, work from home, or a combination of the two. And enterprise software provider Salesforces has informed its employees that they have the option of working from home at least until the end of the year, even if it reopens offices.

Unlike Apple, Facebook has chosen not to designate specific days when its employees are expected in its offices, as the way teams work can vary widely across the company. Instead, the company will let the individual teams determine when they are present.

Clarification: Employees must receive authorization from their manager and, ultimately, approval from a company vice president to work remotely. Some roles, such as in data centers or company hardware labs, cannot be performed remotely. Other individual circumstances or the needs of a specific team may prevent an employee’s request to remain at work from being successful.

Working: a financial boon for businesses?

A poll on develop.com revealed that the majority, 56.57%, of voters are to stay at work permanently after the crisis. It was a kind of repetition of the positioning of workers in various countries who expressed their favor for the working approach. In a context where calls to work in prsentiel multiply, nearly 50% of workers launched on this formula (from a sample of 1000 workers) would accept a reduction in wages to continue.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed said they would rather work remotely than to be promoted and almost half (48%) said they would accept a pay cut in exchange for the possibility of work from anywhere. To confirm the trend, only 12% of respondents said they wanted to return to a full-time office in the future.

The survey revealed that a flexible work schedule (47%), less stress related to the journey (43%), savings (40%) and a better work-life balance (35%) are the main advantages of remote working. On the other hand, the main concerns are the decrease in physical movements during the day (40%), the lack of interaction with colleagues (39%), screen fatigue (31%) and ‘inability to collaborate or communicate effectively (31%). Despite these concerns, more than half of those surveyed (52%) said their morale was positively impacted when working outside the office.

According to the survey, 37% of those surveyed would prefer to work from home if given the choice after the pandemic, while 38% would prefer a combination of home and office. While providing this flexibility can be a great recruiting tool for organizations, it is essential to ensure that the appropriate security protocols, training, and technology are in place to protect against cyber attacks. Businesses also need to modernize their support services to ensure remote workers receive immediate and personalized solutions to their IT problems. The survey revealed that 19% of respondents contacted the IT help desk once a week and 22% three times a month when working remotely. The main technical problems encountered by remote workers are the inability to access company resources (29%), Wi-Fi problems (21%) and resetting passwords (18%).

Other interesting results of the survey:

  • 37% of respondents went to a place far from their home and worked there during the pandemic, and 21% moved to a new city or state;
  • the increase in the electricity bill (45%) was the most important financial cost for people working from home. Next, unsurprisingly, are the increase in home office expenses (39%) and the increase in the cost of snacks, meals and drinks (34%);
  • Home Internet is the number one expense that employees believe their employer should pay (60%), followed by a desk chair (43%), a cell phone (38%) and a desk (33%).

Lenqute published midway through the previous year by OnePoll in conjunction with GoTo pointed to similar trends. The survey of 1,000 office workers in the USA, 250 office workers in India, UK, Brazil and Germany, 125 office workers in Australia and 125 office workers in New Zealand found that:

  • 48% were prepared to take a pay cut to stay on the job;
  • 77% of respondents believed that the working formula is the best way to help the environment because of a significant reduction in commuting.

Sources: Video interview transcript (attached)

And you ?

Can telecommuting become a standard in the information technology industry after the pandemic? What are the factors likely to contribute to this?

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