Business software monolith Salesforce is reportedly so desperate to see its employees back in the office that the company will donate a little less than the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac meal to charity for every day workers physically drag themselves to the office.
Salesforce confirmed with Gizmodo that the company was hosting a global program to incentivise workers to come into the office, called “Connect for Good.” Fortune originally reported Tuesday based on an internal Slack channel that each employee who decides to actually come to the office between June 12 and 23 will make Salesforce donate $US10 to a local charity. Some staff are still allowed to work from home depending on the team, and in those special cases when they attend a virtual event Salesforce will still donate $US10.
The company hopes to raise between $US1 million and a maximum of $US2.5 million through this initiative, according to the report. Staff are meant to vote on their favourite local charities to receive donations.
A Salesforce spokesperson told Gizmodo “Giving back is deeply embedded in everything we do, and we’re proud to introduce Connect for Good to encourage employees to help raise $US1 million for local nonprofits.”
The company has previously mandated that 65% of its workforce come to the office three or, in some cases, four days a week. The company plans to tally up workers’ initial badge swipes per day, but promised the survey wouldn’t give them any info about how long staff stayed in the office or how many swipes they did per day.
Salesforce is the biggest name in the world for cloud-based sales software, and it became a strange creature in the Silicon Valley tech world for its routinely laid back company culture. That was until the post-pandemic era, and along with many big tech firms the company took the axe to 10% of its staff in January this year. At that time, the company had nearly 80,000 employees worldwide. Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff in a letter to workers cited hiring “too many people leading into this economic downturn.”
So even if Salesforce is down to just over 70,000 employees, that $US10 a pop per hop into the office could be worth a hefty chunk of change, but it also puts the onus on workers to give up the freedom of work from home for the chance to again suck in the stale air of Salesforce’s notorious “Ohana” culture. Benioff even referenced that “Ohana means family” line in his letter to staff announcing layoffs.
But Salesforce may have lost its employees-first attitude altogether. The company continued to pay actor Matthew McConaughey big money for starring in company promotions while booting staff. Leaked messages in the company’s Slack also revealed Salesforce execs were planning to rank employees on their productivity and fire the bottom performers, but Benioff reportedly squashed that plan after staff caught wind.
Benioff has complained heavily about the loss of “tribal knowledge with new employees without an office culture” due to work from home policies. According to leaked Slack messages from late last year seen by CNBC, he also complained about those hired during the pandemic not being productive enough.
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