Salesforce lures staff with $10 donation to charity for each day they're in the office

Promo runs from June 12 and 24 as company promises it's not tracking which workers participate

Salesforce is encouraging staff to return to the office by pledging to make charitable donations, against the backdrop of CEO Marc Benioff's stated belief that staff productivity is higher when his troops – particularly newbies – work together.

According to Fortune, the SaaS-based CRM slinger sent a message via the #all-salesforce channel on its Slack collaboration tool in which an exec touted the "Connect for Good" campaign.

Between June 12-24, Salesforce will hand over $10 to a local charity for each day a worker comes into the physical office, and it will be also donate the same amount of cash when a remote worker that attends a virtual event.

"Coming together for our culture, customer, and community is what we do best," the unnamed senior executive wrote on the Slack channel.

"By showing up in the office (or for events), you're strengthening connections and creating a positive wave of change in your community. Are you ready to make a real impact by simply showing up?" the exec asked.

The intention is to raise upwards of $1 million through the initiative, and Salesforce will make payments up to $2.5 million, according to documents seen by Fortune. Staff will be allowed to nominate their local charities.

Salesforce will calculate aggregate badge statistics to determine what payments need to be made, but told employees: "The data doesn't tell us who went in to the office, how long they stayed, or how many times they badged in and out – just the total number."

The highest voted charity will then get the cash.

A spokesperson at Salesforce told The Register: "Giving back is deeply embedded in everything we do, and we're proud to introduce Connect for Good to encourage employees to help us raise $1 million+ for local nonprofits."

Salesforce told employees in early 2021 that the 9-5 workday was dead, saying staff could work remotely permanently or come into the office for one to three days a week for meetings, which they could also attend using the company's immersive workspaces. Brett Hyder, president and chief people officer, said at the time "the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables."

A year later, Benioff said: "Office mandates are never going work." Yet he seemingly started to soften that stance in December 2022 when called some workers back into the office amid slowing sales growth. The big boss, also in the same month, asked if working from home was why new starters were less productive.

"New employees (hired during the pandemic in 2021 and 2022) are especially facing much lower productivity. Is this a reflection of our office policy? Are we not building tribal knowledge with new employees without an office culture?" Benioff asked.

"Are our managers not directly addressing productivity with their teams? Are we not investing enough time into our new employees? Do managers focus enough time and energy on onboarding new employees and achieving productivity?"

Still, Salesforce is being more gentle with staff than some other tech businesses out there. Amazon, Meta and Dell are among several that in the year to date who've implored staff to return to work regularly for three days a week, despite all of them previously espousing the benefits of a flexible working set-up. ®

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