Hot question: Once again, the CEO has put forward the argument that remote workers are less productive. The head of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, made this statement during a general meeting at which mass layoffs at the company were discussed, where he also pointed an accusing finger at new employees hired during the pandemic and at younger workers.
Insider writes that Benioff repeated his statements last month that new and removed Salesforce employees do not meet expectations when it comes to productivity. “We don’t have the level of productivity and productivity that we had in 2020 before the pandemic. No,” Benioff said. “When we look at a certain percentage of employees, especially some new employees [hired during the pandemic], they’re just not as productive.”
Benioff said he turned to productivity after chief operating officer and head of sales Brian Milham told him that 96% of the company’s annual contract value — ACV measures annual revenue from each individual customer — is provided by 50% of sales managers.
“Half of our sales department is not very productive, and many of them are our new employees. So why?” said Benioff. “Aren’t we managing our remote employees well enough? Do we need new skills? Because this has never happened before in the history of the company.”
From TSMC to Samsung, almost all companies, especially large technology firms, have experienced the negative impact of the post-pandemic recession and the current economic crisis caused by high inflation and rising cost of living, as a result of which consumers began to spend less on basic necessities. Salesforce is still quick to close large-scale deals, according to its CEO, “but half of our trade organization is really struggling. As if they don’t know how […] There should be several things going on either psychologically and technically.”
Benioff wondered if part of the problem was related to remote workers, especially young ones. He questioned their ability to build relationships with clients and wondered aloud, “do they have such social experience, communication with people and the possibility of a rotating chair that we had before.”
Some employees affected by layoffs at Salesforce say that the company’s performance evaluation system sets unrealistic goals for them, because of which they are doomed to failure. As for Benioff’s comments, one of them said, “Obviously, he’s a CEO from another generation.”
Most of the world was forced to switch to remote work after the outbreak of the pandemic. And although many companies are trying to bring employees back to the office, the vast majority say that they are happier and more productive at home.
Many managers and executives, especially Elon Musk, are vague about remote work, often calling the lack of interaction with colleagues a big problem, but a recent report shows that remote employees increased their interaction with colleagues between 2020 and 2022.
It’s not just bosses who think that avoiding office work equates to laziness; most people think that their colleagues don’t work productively while working from home.