back to article Salesforce: Forget the ping-pong and snacks, the 9-to-5 working day is just so 2019, it's over and done with

Global CRM SaaS pusher Salesforce has told its staff and the wider world that the 9-to-5 workday is dead. In his sweepingly grandiose missive, Brent Hyder, president and chief people officer of the San Francisco-based cloud biz, proclaimed that the devastating social and economic disruption wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    WFHSS

    Working From Home Stress Syndrome will become a thing along with the 'New Normal™' when it has kicked in fully.

    Even peasants in developing countries get to go outside away from the house to practice their subsistence living, so even they, are not imprisoned in their homes for both work and off time.

    More than anything else, WFH is a wet dream for bean counters that will ultimately turn out to be flawed, home working may suit many people quite well but the need for access to printers and other infrastructure as well as access to line managers who may not be answering questions as readily as they might in a collective office environment, I can see things going down hill.

    Time will tell if I am right or wrong but I am willing to bet that WHFSS will become a thing.

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: WFHSS

      WFH = never leave work

      That is what it is all about.

    2. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

      Re: WFHSS

      Most peasants are not working in fields, so your idea of poor-but-healthy outdoor folk is a century out of date. The poor people are in factories/nail-bars etc.

    3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: WFHSS

      Probably much less of a thing than the "stress syndromes" driven by commute times, traffic, open floor office plans(never thought I'd REALLY miss cube farms), etc etc.

      So I'd expect it to be a net plus overall for worker health. Certainly not universally but the reverse situation is not universal either. Hopefully employers can figure out the right balance for their employees.

      For me personally, going to an office isn't the end of the world but it is more about cost of housing and commute times which really make that unattractive in many situations. I did have a job for a couple of years in a small city(~100k) where I had been living for 9 years, and the new job was literally across the street from my apartment. I had co-workers who parked further away(to avoid parking fees) than I lived. That was an awesome setup. I originally moved to that apartment for another job, which was about 1/2 mile up the street back in 2000.

    4. Arrow Maker

      Re: WFHSS

      I've WFH since 2005. Sometimes for weeks on end, sometimes once a week - depending on what I was doing.

      I will say this: there is a tendency, at least in the early days to be 'seen' to be doing but you soon find chucking washing in the washer, then hanging out etc, and doing other jobs etc, but isn't this the time you would have spent taking to people at work about shit?

      I personally found the 3 email rule useful. Email your boss about shit first thing in the morning, mid-day and (if you have win here's where you let him know), and the end of your day - Then LOG OFF.

      ...and the key is just that: Logon at your usual time, logoff at your usual time - nobody actually gives a shit. :-)

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: WFHSS

        I once worked from home for a straight 17 months and in that time, went into the office fewer than 6 times.

        After spending the previous few years living a nomadic lifestyle it was, initially, blissful.

        But I did eventually start to miss the social side of work - the actual face-to-face interactions with colleagues.

        Since then I've tended to work a day or two at home here and there.

        I did learn some valuable lessons:

        If you can have a completely separate working space, do so. I was fortunate enough to have had an office built in the garden and it was both a lovely place to work (especially over the summer) but also meant that at the end of the working day, I physically closed work off. It makes a surprising mental difference.

        Stick to your contracted hours. Obviously, there will be the odd time where things happen that push that out of the window, but again, per the above, it will do wonders for your mental health not trying to work all the hours in the day to prove you're valuable.

        Be flexible and set expectations thus. If you have school runs (remember those?) then do them. If you need to hang the washing out, do it. You will find this again helps your mental health because it's a diversion from the grind. Before you start to feel guilty, remember that even at work in and office you have "dead time" - time spent at the watercooler, or otherwise chewing the fat.

        Your IT is usually set up just how you want it and because you're not waiting for someone to open the dial-in conference bridge, work out how to get the big screen/projector working etc that meetings open - and close - much more efficiently. Not always, granted, but mostly.

        Enjoy the fact that, if you're following the advice from point 1 and working contracted hours, you can even be flexible in your start and finish times because you're now not sitting in traffic for an hour or more each way to and from work getting worn out by it.

        Set boundaries - both with colleagues and bosses but also with family. It took a while before my then wife understood that when I am working from home, I am working and no I can't just go shopping or for a long walk at the drop of a hat. Make sure your bosses and colleagues don't expect to be able to get a hold of you 24/7. Try to remember they do not own you. I had one boss who had a go at me because "...well I work 07:30 to 23:00 why don't you work longer?" he did not appreciate my response that I'm contracted for 40 hours, I am paid for 40 hours and they get 40 hours and I, like him, have a family. But unlike him, I am not a moron.

        Remember to take a break occasionally and walk away from your desk. Again, you'd tend to do this at work, so do it working from home.

        You will have bad days and good. Don't beat yourself up about it.

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          Re: WFHSS

          Upvoted for "unlike him, I am not a moron". Also unlike him, you may not be divorced in 15 years. Eventually his wife will get tired of him being a moron. Once the kids are old enough he will be history.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: WFHSS

            Sadly I am divorced. But that was down to my ex finally coming to terms with her sexuality, so all good luck to her.

    5. Joe Drunk
      Thumb Up

      Re: WFHSS

      It can be just as stressful as coming to the office, you have to learn to adapt. As someone with a 90 minute commute each way WFH is a god send. No more leaving to work when it's dark outside and arriving home when it's dark outside. As others have stated, I do other things like laundry etc. but now I can wake up a little later and at the end of the day the day I logout and am already home. My work day has been reduced significantly with only the occasional after hours work. More me time equals more happiness. Truthfully the only time I am ever bothered after hours are by less technical colleagues having problems since our firm has greatly reduced IT support to the point where our team relies on each other rather than using the support portal.

      As a consultant I don't miss the interaction in any way, we have email, phone and zoom.

  2. Reg Reader 1

    Employees need Unions. I'm in one and since the pandemic we've been working from home. I work from 9AM 'til 6PM Monday through Friday, my choice as we have start times as early as 7AM and half hour or hour lunches. I rarely take OT, which would be evenings or weekends at and increased pay rate. Almost always someone in my group will pick up the OT, otherwise I will do it as I understand business does need to keep rolling.

    When I logout of my computer I'm done until I log back in. No evening, late night, or weekend phone calls, although that is optional for those who may want additional, unscheduled OT. Of course, I'm starting to wind down my career and most in my group are mid or early career.

  3. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

    Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

    A few years ago it was CEO fashion to ban working from home and make people more productive by making them commute to a hot-desk. Still, someone will have to be around to help the new-grads/interns find their way around a corporate laptop and the many splendid IT/HR/Fin/Eng subsystems. I'm just finishing a year-long contract where I haven't met anyone in the flesh. It's been OK, but then I'm a contractor and used to adapting quickly to a new company's weird processes. If I had to retrain it could be very different.

    1. Graham 32

      Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

      Yup. Cutting desks works when things are in decline. When things pick up, many companies will find how hard it is to train people remotely. And not just training skills, but learning a culture, company structure and politics. A lot of that is picked up through idle chit-chat, colleagues taking lunch breaks together, overheard conversations and so on. They all disappear with remote working.

      1. wyatt

        Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

        We've a customer service 'apprentice' who hasn't met anyone in the business yet, they started just after lockdown 1. I've no idea how they're dealing with this, I try to help them out where possible as the last thing they need is someone they don't know, haven't met and are unlikely to ever meet making their life harder.

        Our company is primarily older staff who are fairly experienced and disciplined. We could do with taking on some more junior ones but as we're remote, training is definitely an issue that we (and others) need to address. Culture has been lost to an extent. It'll be interesting to see what happens this time next year, I predict that certain departments will be back in the office full time.

    2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

      I remember when HP announced that employees had to come to the office again a few years ago. There was claims that there literally wasn't enough office space available for all employees to come. Perhaps they corrected that situation I'm not sure, or reversed course on the concept.

      1. eldel

        Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

        HPE were one of the first to ditch the cube farms and declare remote as the ongoing norm.

        link

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

          Yeah, we did all this a few months ago. It's not as big a change as people seem to want to paint it. Most people were WFH 1-2 days a week anyway, I suspect it will be 2-3 days a week moving forward and I personally think it will be positive. I get the comment that WFH can mean living in the office but decent employers are ensuring that the working day doesn't become distorted beyond recognition and putting a lot of focus on wellbeing.

  4. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    Buzzwords...

    "immersive spaces"

    The Titanic had lots of those.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Does this mean we can get rid of ...

    ... eyesore skyscrapers, like Salesforce's Dildo in San Francisco?

  6. andy 103
    FAIL

    Prediction

    Pre 2020 :

    Employee - "We need flexibility to WFH"

    Employer - "No, you can't be trusted to do a full X hours per day like we pay you"

    2020:

    Employer - "Please can you WFH so our business can continue to operate? Or we can furlough you maybe"

    Employee - "Yeah, I'm happy to have a job or just be paid a percentage of my wage so I can still pay my bills. Whilst finishing that decorating... in between home schooling my kids."

    Mid 2020 :

    Employer / employee - "this is working pretty well"

    2022 :

    Employee: "I really wish I had a remote office to work from so I don't have to live and work in the same place"

    Employer: "We're done with offices. They cost us loads of money, it's cheaper (for us) if you fund that yourself. But that was your idea in 2019. Well done. A bonus? No, there's no money for that.".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4x10

    My work has moved to 4 days of 10 hours each, as people were working that anyway, and this way we get Friday off. Management can actually enforce the Friday-off in a way that they couldn't really keep a handle on people working late.

    Management says if that's a pain when we go back to the office, we can change back.

  8. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Big Brother

    NewSpeak

    Immersive spaces == soul-destroying cube farms and open-plan bullpens

    "It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words."

    -- George Orwell, 1984

    1. Arrow Maker

      Re: NewSpeak

      Immersive spaces - and some ahole actually came up with that and some dick in marketing thought with was a good idea. Some companies need to look at examples like this and realise where the actual cost savings are...

  9. Arrow Maker

    WFH = Massive Company Savings...

    Its easy to be sceptical, but after wages, offices are probably the second biggest cost in terms of the business. Rent/Rates/utility costs (and that's just getting started) so reducing your office 'foot print' or floor space could and will save millions if not billions to some companies. - once the renegotiations with land lords conclude of course...

    Of course, you have to offset this with management types, who are probably screaming that they want their department back in the office asap. This is likely happening a lot for two very good reasons.

    1) The manager is a micromanager and does not feel in control.

    2) He's not very good and WFH means he can't hide and easily blame somebody else because he can't see or understand what they are doing when they are not in the office.

    ....and my personal fav - upper management will release the lower managers may not be needed if people WFH and get the job done.

    :-)

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: WFH = Massive Company Savings...

      Of course with these massive savings, the bosses would never dream of improving the pay of the workers or lowering the price of the end product, would they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WFH = Massive Company Savings...

        The answer will be "all that money you save from not commuting" is your pay rise.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WFH = Massive Company Savings...

          How prescient. That's exactly the reason given for my org not paying WFH bills. Except my commuting fees are less than £150 a year. So fuck you.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay cut and no help for home office bills. So I'm paying my organisation's expenses and am approx 1k down a year. Therefore I take 1k back in time during working hours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Always a way...

      My company routinely shafts me, so I routinely shaft them back. Currently I've had an extra thirty days at 8hrs back from them without them knowing.

      Fuck, I once went to a 'meeting' with a partner agency in town with my colleague who works with me..The meeting didn't exist, and we spent the afternoon in a retro game cafe playing Atari 2000 games and eating Japanese snack food on company time.

      One project I was on, the only supervision was five levels above in management and so only wanted a weekly written report. I worked 'agile' for that and so some days I just didn't even bother coming in to work at all.

      I will add, I balance this off with working incredibly hard when I'm actually working!

  11. Def Silver badge

    Not quite normal yet

    I worked from home five days a week in my previous job. It’s doable if you’re strict enough to stick to work hours only.

    However, back then I could go out and be sociable in the evenings or on the weekends. And that’s what’s currently missing for people who have been thrown into their current situations.

  12. grey_man

    ...and another thing

    ...not to mention the fact that once it has been established your job can be done anywhere, it will be done anywhere. Good luck competing with the people from Fiverr.

    1. Aaiieeee

      Re: ...and another thing

      I think this is a real concern. That and everyone else will have moved to the country with WFH so house prices in the Highlands will be like London prices; you'll get a London townhouse for pennies though

      1. AndyMulhearn

        Re: ...and another thing

        That and everyone else will have moved to the country with WFH so house prices in the Highlands will be like London prices; you'll get a London townhouse for pennies though

        With the option of a nicer, bigger house in exchange for a longer commute for possibly two days out of five as opposed to the full week, people seem to be moving out of London already. A friend is doing this at the moment - from London to Chippenham - and he says prices are very soft in London and late-negotiation demands for discounts are rife.

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: ...and another thing

      No you won't. Most companies want employees or long term contractors. Not day workers. The few that don't are already using Fiverr, et al.

  13. arachnoid2
    Joke

    Sitting on the loo for an hour

    Has not quite the same feeling doing it at home as doing it at work, whilst someone else does your work ........

  14. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    "team collaboration, customer meetings, and presentations"

    I suppose with a name like "Salesforce" they were always going to be trying to sell something. I'm just surprised it's Powerpoint.

    1. arachnoid2

      Damn

      That sounded like SpaceFarce for a minute

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Either, or... nah.

    Many people seem to be under the impression that WFH is an either/or proposition. It isn't. Depending on your job, your character, your preferences and your sanity **you do both**. Arguing for or against WFH is then a moot point. You can be at home some/most/varying time to get on with sh*t and avoid the commute, and other times in the office to be social (even if just 'because I need this right now') or do things that need to be done there. In the OP, Salesforce seem to be implying that the *majority* of people are likely to do both, probably with some ebb and flow of course, and that only those too-far-away will go full WFH and the 'smallest' group being in all the time. On the subject of mixing work-and-pleasure and time overlapping, that's nothing new - people just need to learn to have and manage their lives and NOT be a slave to the office desk beyond 5:30 on a regular basis. That doesn't change whether you're at home or work in a tower block. The one joy of WFH is that you can be flexible with your time during the day. I've been 2-day WFH for twenty years, and pretty permanently since last March with just occasional and necessary forays in to the office. The future will be somewhere inbetween I'm sure. This is the way.

  16. Mark192

    The future is Choice

    As posters above have said, the future is employees free to choose when and where they work as they see fit and the company being flexible and helpful in meeting the changing needs and desires of individual employees.

    Home working does make outsourcing a lot easier though...

  17. I should coco

    Different strokes for different folks

    If you live in a shack in Gugulethu then being force to work from home is not a nice option, Even if you live in a 3 bed semi in Reading then working from your couch or bedroom is not so nice. As others have mentioned here, if you can have a dedicated workspace that you "lock up" and leave at the end of the working day then this is WFH bliss.

    Companies are starting to focus on outcome based management rather than micro management, lets hope this leads to the demise of the micro manager.

    Lets not forget the different cultures in the office space too. I used to work in the middle east where you manage your manager, they like nothing better to be told at 10pm at night in the office that they "are just the most inspirational person and you are so lucky to be here with them now" (rather at home with my family).. This is a cultural change which will not go away overnight.

    This is a game changer for sure. No need for office space, able to write up your bottom line (for a year anyway) as your Opex is reduced.

    I am lucky enough to live in Spain working for a large multi-national who have sent most of the their workforce home. We get a one off payment for office equipment as well as a monthly stipend towards additional electricity and tinterweb. We are encouraged to take time out during the day, (i'm currently watching the whole of Red Dwarf at lunchtime) to have a virtual commute in the morning and evening which we switch off - not from work - but from phones and e-mail and get proper work done. Everyone wins here without any sinister theories about whats coming. The EoQ shows how effective (or ineffective) this new normal is. (btw it is for us).

    Some companies will still need a physical office and need people to work there.

    The world is adapting and its not happening overnight.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the buddy system

    General Atomic catflaps IP is a hard nut to crack. We cant get one of our spys in as the entry exam it too hard for a trained killer to pass let alone an inital interview.

    But we do have some people with folk back home already working there we can lean on a bit.

    Soon hapless wfh employee gains sinister buddy with a notepad and camera.

    Well done the west.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: the buddy system

      Why the notebook? Hapless wfh employee + IOT := pwned.

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