Salesforce's get-back-to-work strategy starts with 'Volunteer Vaccinated Cohorts' on designated floors

Sounds kind of like a vaccination passport for California offices


Salesforce has waded into the heated debate over vaccine passports, suggesting they may be a means of getting employees back into the office. Just don't call them vaccine passports.

According to the SaaSy CRM vendor, Volunteer Vaccinated Cohorts of protected employees will be able to join groups of 100 or fewer people to work on designated floors in certain offices, starting with San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Irvine from next month.

In the US and Europe, debate rages about vaccine passports or any means of restricting access to events or services according to an individual's vaccination status. New York State created its own digital pass while Florida and Texas attempted to outlaw them, for example.

Some on the right argue that they infringe individual liberty, while others on the left say they exacerbate inequality and unfairly hit people without access to healthcare or digital services. There are even questions over whether vaccination will effectively stall transmission of the disease which has devastated global societies and economies since it first emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Salesforce has been reopening offices for some time, including those in Korea, Hong Kong, and China. Israel has just reopened and Sydney, for example, has been up and running since August 2020.

The company is careful not to discriminate against the unvaccinated, though. It is extending its work-from-home scheme, first announced in February, until at least 31 December.

Whether the result will lead to subtle differences between those able to look their colleagues in the eye and those working from home remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, vaccine status is only one plank in Saleforce's reopening strategy. Although it has not set a timetable, the company expects Volunteer Vaccinated Cohorts to be followed by Staged Reopenings in which offices will gradually reopen from 20 per cent to 75 per cent capacity, according to local virus data and guidelines. It will see both vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees back in the office. This will be followed by a full reopening where vaccinations will still be encouraged and testing will be available where possible.

Brent Hyder, Saleforce president and chief people officer, took to his mind-mangling repository of corporate drivel, otherwise known as a company blog, to expound on the coronavirus reopening and the new normal into which hapless employees find themselves emerging.

"Thursday is the New Monday," he proclaimed. "The most popular day for employees to come to the office is Thursday. Employees prefer to start the week from home with only about half of collaboration space being used. By Wednesday and Thursday, that jumps up to 80 per cent."

We're guessing its either horrible hangovers or the sheer misery of another week spent soullessly tapdancing for the benefit of Marc Benioff's Italian shoe collection which leaves employees unable to face each other IRL until most of the week has already gone. ®


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