Salesforce employees will soon be able to hold meetings in California’s redwood forests after the company announced plans to open its own luxury ranch to help staff “connect” after two years of remote working.
The 75-acre property known as Trailblazer Ranch is located near Santa Cruz, California, and boasts an outdoor amphitheater, a communal kitchen, fitness and learning centers and conference rooms. The property also features sleeping pods and suites equipped with fireplaces and employees will be able to partake in guided nature walks, yoga sessions, garden tours, group cooking classes, art journaling and meditation.
The company says Salesforce workers will be able to visit the property from next month for onboarding, training, skills building and talent development.
“Since the pandemic began, we’ve onboarded tens of thousands of employees remotely. Those employees have never met their manager or teams in person. And many of our existing employees haven’t seen their colleagues face-to-face in two years,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. Salesforce said that, according to an internal survey, the number one thing employees asked for was “finding ways to connect”.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought a temporary hiatus to Silicon Valley’s famously over the top office spaces as thousands of tech workers went remote. And while the pandemic fueled speculation that this could spell the end for Silicon Valley, the recent reopening of office spaces appears to prove otherwise.
Some companies are starting to coax people back and companies, including Google and Facebook, are taking out leases on even more offices. Last year, Silicon Valley witnessed a building boom that led to the most office construction in six years. In December, Meta rented 719,000 sq ft at a campus in Sunnyvale in what was the largest private-sector office lease of 2021.
“Silicon Valley remains the global center of innovation and its importance will continue to grow even as other innovation hubs emerge,” said Tishman Speyer, a veteran developer who bought the campus seven months before Facebook’s purchase.
Other new construction projects that were completed in 2021 include a 657,000 sq ft Yahoo office campus in San Jose, as well as a 611,000 sq ft Google office campus nearby.
Salesforce’s new ranch reaffirms the company’s – and Silicon Valley’s – continued belief in the importance of working in person. “Trailblazer Ranch is an exciting new gathering place where employees can forge trusted relationships with their colleagues, learn from one another, get inspired, grow in their career, get trained on the company, and give back to the community in a fun and safe environment,” the company said.
Salesforce said the ranch is an “opportunity to disconnect from technology and connect with each other”. The company went on to cite a recent study by Deloitte that revealed employees are working three more hours a day compared with before the pandemic. Moreover, 80% of the study’s respondents listed wellbeing as important or very important to their company’s success.
The ranch is temporarily located at 1440 Multiversity in the town of Scotts Valley, as the company solidifies its long-term Trailblazer Ranch site. The ranch space will also be open to local non-profits and the surrounding community, the company said.