It’s been over two years since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and the world is a very different place. Whilst the pandemic has been devastating, it has also accelerated and innovated the way we all work, and hopefully for the better. Work won’t be somewhere we go, it will be something we do.
Whilst both flexible and remote working are fantastic in so many ways, you could easily argue they are harmful due to the lack of in-person connection. Salesforce was one of the first companies to pioneer a remote/hybrid working model for all of their employees, and now they are taking this a step further with the Trailblazer Ranch.
The Trailblazer Ranch
Yesterday, Salesforce announced The Trailblazer Ranch, a physical ranch set amongst the beautiful Redwoods of Scotts Valley, California. In their announcement, Salesforce mention the massive benefits they have seen from changing their in-office working culture to something more hybrid, noting the productivity and work-life balance benefits. But there is no substitute for connecting in-person.
Here are the top three things you need to know…
An internal Salesforce survey has shown that the ‘spontaneity and joy’ of in-person interactions is an important requirement for employees, and something that has been inevitably absent throughout the pandemic. Across the world, entire teams have been on-boarded without meeting their colleagues or managers face-to-face. Accelerations in technology have made remote working possible (and enjoyable in many ways), but they haven’t been able to fill the gap left by a lack of in-person connections.
After years of being on Zoom calls and staring at computer screens, we’re encouraging our employees to step away from their screens… Trailblazer Ranch is an opportunity to disconnect from technology and connect with each other. Brent Hyder – President & Chief People Officer
Working on Wellbeing
I’m sure we can all relate to productivity benefits since the pandemic began – no commutes, fewer distractions, and nowhere near as many coffee breaks! However, it’s important to note the changes to our daily routines – the good and the bad! A recent Deloitte study found that a significant number of female employees have “cited working longer hours because of the pandemic and others are juggling extra caregiving responsibilities as a result of pandemic-related consequences”.
Deloitte have taken a deep dive into workforce trends, highlighting the critical importance of wellbeing in employees’ working lives.
Recognizing the inextricable link among our well-being, our work, and our lives has led more organizations to think deeply about ways they can design well-being into work itself so that both workers and the organization can thrive moving forward.
The Future is Disneyland
Put simply, the Trailblazer Ranch aims to connect – with people and with nature. It will be a fun, interactive haven for teams, providing immersive opportunities to focus on forging new connections and reviving existing relationships. Following years of digital connectivity, this emphasis on ‘real life’ experiences feels like a welcome move.
From the moment guests step foot on the Ranch, they’ll become immersed in Salesforce’s culture. They’ll have the opportunity to participate in tactile experiences like guided nature walks, restorative yoga, garden tours, group cooking classes, art journaling, and meditation. Learning, planning and team-building are important to the Trailblazer Ranch experience, but we can accomplish this in a whole new way – surrounded by nature, with wellbeing, giving back and fun at the center. Brent Hyder – President & Chief People Officer
Remote working has made great leaps during the past few years, taking on board the opportunities as well as the challenges that the pandemic has thrown our way. Taking a moment to review new routines and working styles is an important part of the process as teams find new ways to connect – remotely and in real life. What are your thoughts on the Trailblazer Ranch?