In this article series, we feature successful remote-ready companies and ask them how they collaborate effectively in a remote environment.
With 45.000 employees, Salesforce is among the biggest software companies in the world. The global CRM platform has offices around the globe and people working from everywhere. Therefore, remote work is a big part of the work culture at Salesforce, which is famously rooted in the Hawaiian lifestyle of Ohana, says Robert Frank, Director HR Employee Success D/A/CH at Salesforce.
How does your current organizational setup look like and in which units do you work remotely?
At Salesforce remote employees are the 2nd largest workforce and we have remote employees across all functions across the world. Working remotely is pretty standard and part of our Ohana culture to best integrate job, family and private life – it’s a part of work-life-integration.
How do you collaborate with your remote workers on a day-to-day basis?
At Salesforce we use all the cool and state-of-the-art tools to stay connected with our remote employees. Video conferences via Google Hangout have become the standard – no pure conference calls anymore. We also use Google-Chat, Chatter and email. For best collaboration, we use cloud-based and real-time collaboration tools, such as Quip and Google-Sheets. And all our Salesforce tools are fully mobile supported which helps a lot of employees who are traveling.
How do you reflect the remote work specifics in your approach to leadership, coaching and mentoring?
As remote employees are standard at Salesforce and as we are all using the same great tools, there is no real specific and unique approach just for our remote employees. We have also a feedback app to give feedback to employees, managers and peers.
Which key skills are important to work effectively in your remote work organization?
It’s to manage yourself and stay connected. Although we have many tools and offerings at Salesforce which really help to be connected and at the pulse of the organization, you ultimately have to use these. You may have to be more organized in setting up meetings and chats with people and stakeholders to build relationships as you are not in the office and just meet on an ad-hoc basis or for a coffee.
Do you plan to extend the amount of remote work in your organization in the future?
Yes, because we want and need to be there, where our customers are.
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Which recommendations do you have for companies who are just starting to embrace a remote work culture?
It’s all about trust. Trust is our number one value. You really need to trust your people that they are doing their work even without physically be monitored or controlled.
What do you do to make remote work fun for the people who are not in the office everyday?
All our people have great equipment (laptops, mobile phones) which makes it easy to work remotely and being able to connect via video either from your computer or via your mobile device and see the faces makes it much more exciting.
Do you believe in the future of remote work as we do? Then head over to www.dl-remote.com, our talent platform for remote employees.