Salesforce will reopen San Francisco tower in May

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Salesforce cofounder and co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks during the grand opening of the Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Karl Mondon | Bay Area News Group | Getty Images

Salesforce said Monday that it will reopen its downtown San Francisco headquarters in May, but it will let all employees work remotely through the end of 2021.

Many people are paying attention to how Salesforce will return people to offices, as the enterprise software maker is the largest employer in San Francisco, a hub of the global technology industry. The Salesforce tower has 61 floors and 1.4 million square feet of office space.

Salesforce has already reopened some 22 offices, Brent Hyder, its president and chief people officer, wrote in a blog post. The company said it will reopen Palo Alto and Irvine, California, locations in the coming months.

Salesforce has three stages of reopening. In the first stage, which is limited to the U.S. and only in areas that have a company-determined coronavirus risk rating that's flat or decreasing, fully vaccinated employees can volunteer to join groups of up to 100 people who can work on certain floors. The company will require employees to take Covid tests twice a week.

In the second stage, Salesforce will operate from 20% to 75% capacity based on the company's assessed risk, and employees can return even if they have not received a vaccine. The final stage brings offices up to 100% capacity.

The company has also been busy remodeling its offices, adding Plexiglas, air purifiers and handles that people can use without touching.

Salesforce said five of its offices, including Sydney, are already operating in the third stage.

In February, Salesforce said a majority of its employees will be in offices one to three days per week. Others will be completely remote, while a small cohort will work from offices four to five days per week. In doing so, Salesforce broke from the ranks of companies such as Atlassian and Zillow that said employees would have the choice to work from home permanently.

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