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Salesforce's Marc Benioff: Return-to-office mandates 'are never going to work'

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While Wall Street banks push to get workers back into offices, tech giant Salesforce is sticking with its work-from-anywhere approach to attract and retain top talent.

"Office mandates are never going to work," Salesforce Co-Founder and Co-CEO Marc Benioff said at a company event in New York City on Thursday.

The upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic is leading corporate leaders to rethink their office strategies.

Approximately 60% of U.S. workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home are working remotely all or most of the time, according to a new Pew Research survey. Longer term, the study finds that 60% of workers with jobs that can be done from home say that when the pandemic is over, they would like to mostly work from home if given the choice. That is up from 54% in 2020.

Alex Swaton, 30, from United States works remotely from Las Palmas De Gran Canaria in Gran Canaria, Spain, on July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
Alex Swaton, 30, from United States works remotely from Las Palmas De Gran Canaria in Gran Canaria, Spain, on July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

Among those who are currently working from home all or most of the time, Pew found, 78% say they would like to stay working from home post-pandemic, compared to 64% in 2020.

Flexibility isn't the only factor that workers are considering.

Research from Ladders indicates that high-paying job opportunities that offer teleworking have increased throughout the pandemic from 9% at the end of 2020 to 15% today as employers pull out all the stops to attract talent.

"What we would love to see is kind of a different use for that square footage and really a purpose for people coming into the office," Slack Co-Founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield told Yahoo Finance at the World Economic Forum (video above).

Slack is a division of Salesforce.

At the event on Thursday, Benioff and co-CEO Bret Taylor teased several upcoming updates for Slack that will better foster remote work, including screen sharing and easier application of video calls.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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