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Entering the Next Phase of Recovery: Reopening Our Offices in Korea, Hong Kong, and China

The next phase of recovery: Re-opening our offices in Korea, Hong Kong and China

This week, we took the next step of our recovery journey with the reopening of our offices in South Korea, Hong Kong, and China, building on the plan we shared earlier this month on how we’re going to welcome back our employees with the help of You might be wondering, why now and what

This week, we took the next step of our recovery journey with the reopening of our offices in South Korea, Hong Kong, and China, building on the plan we shared earlier this month on how we’re going to welcome back our employees with the help of

You might be wondering, why now and what drove Salesforce to decide to reopen these locations? The main driver is our guideline decision matrix where we assess government guidance, medical expert advice, feedback from our local leadership team, and other regionalized factors. This isn’t a cookie cutter “one size fits all” strategy given the variances from city to city, but our holistic plan allows us to be nimble and flexible while maintaining the safest approach possible.

Before returning, we walked all area employees through our full plan so they understood what their new workplace experience would be like, answered any questions they might have had, shared resources, visuals and more, so that on day one everyone was comfortable.

Before employees head in to the office on day one, they’ll need to complete a Daily Wellness Check-in through — a set of Salesforce solutions and resources to help businesses and communities reopen and recover safely and responsibly. The brief, daily check-in asks employees five questions to ensure they’re healthy. On completion, employees will be provided a shift arrival time and the days of the week that they will be in-office to manage floor capacities, avoid elevator bottlenecks, and alternate team shifts. While not everyone may be comfortable or able to return to the office yet, we’ve given our employees the option to continue working from home through the end of the year.

A product suite snapshot

What the in-office experience looks like

The redesign required reimagining our lobbies, elevators, employee floors, conference rooms, and more.

This means that when employees arrive at their workspaces, they will find a minimum of six feet of space between their colleagues along with several new protocols: temperature screening (where applicable), required face coverings, and manual contact tracings.

Temperature screening

Temperature screening on arrival for entry

We’re all used to trying to fit one more person in the elevator, but those days are a thing of the past. Today, most will only accommodate two to four riders, and each cab is outfitted with decals noting where you should stand as well as best practices for the duration of your trip. Shhh, no talking!

Employees stand on physically distanced floor decals

Employees stand on physically distanced floor
decals as they queue up for the elevator

On their working floors, employees will find rearranged furniture (including some items that have been completely removed), plexiglass between workstations, additional signage, and visual cues — along with abundant cleaning products and hand sanitizer.

What makes Salesforce great is our employees’ collaborative spirit, creativity, and drive. Previously, on any given day, you might have found yourself white-boarding with coworkers, brainstorming, or having a team meeting in a conference room. Today, we have reconfigured these spaces to adhere to physical distancing standards with reduced capacities. We made it easy by updating these figures digitally so that when an employee books a meeting room, they know the number of people it can hold. Happen to forget? It’s an adjustment for all of us – we added new signage as a reminder too.

Remember all those bulk snacks? Gone are the days that you can put your hand in the party mix. We all need the proper fuel to keep us going through the day, and our snack program has evolved to include individually packaged drinks and snacks.

We know that cleaning is paramount to keep our employees safe and healthy. So, throughout the day, we will be regularly cleaning all of our high-touch spaces. And, every night, our buildings will undergo deep cleanings for us to start fresh the following morning.

Salesforce employee enters the workspace

A Salesforce employee entering the workspace

Even with the most comprehensive and deliberate plan, it is possible that an employee will test positive. Through, we’re leaning on our manual contact tracing technology so we have a procedure in place if an employee does test positive for the coronavirus. What this looks like is simple — a member of our internal Health and Safety team will confidentially contact the employee to ensure they’re receiving the appropriate care. After that, they complete a voluntary questionnaire that gets logged in our manual contact tracing system. If they volunteer the names of employees they have been in contact with, we’ll notify those employees they may have interacted with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. From there, we’ll either close the entire building or a portion of it for a designated period of time and conduct a full top to bottom cleaning to decontaminate the office with products recommended by the WHO, CDC, and local health organizations.

This is a whole new world and a big next step for all of us. Through a cross-team effort, we can bring back the in-person spirit of Salesforce, and we’ll keep you updated along the way.

Reopening will be a journey. is your guide.

Elizabeth Pinkham
Elizabeth Pinkham EVP, Global Real Estate

Elizabeth is the Executive Vice President of Global Real Estate at Salesforce. Her team creates inspirational work environments that are welcoming, trusted, and uniquely designed for the happiness and success of our Ohana family of employees, customers, partners, and communities.

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