Salesforce to let two-thirds of space in SF high-rise

Office-space-as-a-service suits this cloud giant to a T

Salesforce is looking to let around half the space in one of its downtown San Francisco high-rises.

Grappling for the past year with how to balance working from home with office-based work time, the largest private employer in the Californian city has now listed roughly 412,600 square feet of the 817,000-square-foot, 43-story Salesforce West tower, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

The software titan will maintain ownership of the Fremont St building and may reoccupy the space in the future, a Salesforce spokesperson said in a statement. 352,300 square feet of the listing will be available August 1, with the rest freeing up in December.

“We are subleasing floors in Salesforce West to make the most efficient use of our real estate footprint,” the statement continued. “As the largest private employer in San Francisco, we are deeply committed to the city and are actively welcoming employees back to Salesforce Tower."

Salesforce West is not to be confused with Salesforce’s more famous San Francisco hideout, the nearby 61-story Salesforce Tower on 415 Mission St. The CRM giant has canceled plans to build another tower on Howard St.

And for those who don't know: Salesforce Tower is not only one of the tallest buildings on the US West Coast, it isn't actually owned by Salesforce. The skyscraper belongs to Boston Properties, and Salesforce is the anchor tenant. Other companies are in there, including WeWork – and yes, some of your humble vultures did roost on the 36th floor WeWork space post-vaccination for a while. The views were fantastic, thanks.

The momentous real-estate rethink seems prompted by post-peak-pandemic working practices introduced by Salesforce more than a year ago. In February 2021, Brent Hyder, Salesforce president and chief people officer, said "the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks" as he announced an end to the assumption that most staff would work from the office, and introduced a flexible working plan.

And in June this year, CEO Marc Benioff doubled down on his cloud company's stance on allowing folks to work from home in a flexible way.

But the industry is not unanimous in its view on home working — and property investment. In March last year, finance and HR software firm Workday announced a $172.5 million property investment on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay. CEO Aneel Bhusri said he was "a big believer that we're going to be back in the office."

In the UK, the latest figure from the Office for National Statistics found that from October to December 2019 and January to March 2022, homeworking in the UK more than doubled from 4.7 million to 9.9 million people. ®

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