Bringing employees back to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a challenge for companies. The high-and-mighty of the corporate world, including tech giant Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), has had run-ins with its workforce as they strive to implement a strict return-to-work policy.
One company from the tech world has opted to swear by the carrot part of the carrot-and-stick motivational approach in accomplishing this.
Customer relationship software company Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) internally floated a limited-period initiative called “Connect for Good,” through which it has agreed to pay $10 to a local charity for each day an employee turns up at the office, a senior company executive announced on the all-Salesforce Slack channel, Fortune reported.
This program will run from June 12 through June 23.
The initiative is in line with Salesforce’s culture of treating employees not merely as colleagues but as family, the report said. The announcement reportedly came as a reassurance to employees, who were worried that the company culture, often called “Ohana culture,” would erode.
“We know that in-person work can be important for tasks such as creativity, but so is employee happiness and company culture,” said Melanie Brucks, a professor of marketing at Columbia University. “Forcing or cajoling people to return to the office is not the answer.”
The fears compounded after Salesforce announced mass layoffs, in line with the general trend in the sector amid the economic uncertainties, withdrew the gratitude bonus, and also made it mandatory for certain groups of employees to return to the office, Fortune said.
“It’s a cute gimmick, but if organizations really want employees to come to the office, they need to make the journey worthwhile,” said Brucks,
Salesforce, led by Marc Benioff, expects to raise $1 million to $2.5 million through the program, the report said. Staff is given the option to vote for their favorite charities, it added.
Ever since the reopening, some corporate chiefs began sounding out their desire to have employees back at the office at least for a few days a week. Some of them, including Benioff, have flagged reduced productivity with work-from-home working.
While announcing layoffs at Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) in mid-March, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said in a memo that performance analysis showed engineers with some in-person working time (even if they later transitioned to remote work) “performed better on average than people who joined remotely.”
In a recent CNBC interview, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk called working from home as morally wrong.
The proponents of work-from-home, however, suggest employees work long hours when they work from home and this increases their productivity.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Alberto Arellano and Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld
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