Salesforce Moves Forward With Four Office Towers Despite Commitment to Remote Work

The tech company's plans include Salesforce Tower in Chicago

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Remote work be damned, Salesforce is forging ahead to build a 60-story office tower along the Chicago River, and three other towers globally.

The tech company was one of the first to commit to full-time remote work, but still plans to occupy 500,000 square feet in Salesforce Tower, which is being built on the Wolf Point site near the Merchandise Mart, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday

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In February 2021, the firm said it would allow the majority of its staff — which numbers 73,500 globally — to work remotely on a permanent basis. While that will be the case for most employees, some will be asked to go into the office one to three days per week, Salesforce told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday.

“Chicago has and will continue to be an integral part of our business strategy,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “We are committed to long-term growth locally.”

Salesforce did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Commercial Observer.

The tower in Chicago, as well as the three others — in ​​Tokyo, Dublin and Sydney — are expected to open within the next two years. 

The interiors will feature design elements conducive to a flexible work environment. While Salesforce does not plan to do away with individual desks completely, the company plans to increase the amount of social space in offices to 60 percent from 40 percent. These spaces will be dominated by booths, cafes, communal tables, focus pods and audiovisual equipment for in-person meetings.

The new buildings will be more sustainable in terms of energy efficiency and on-site water recycling to reduce consumption by 76 percent. Salesforce will also make a greater effort to improve indoor air quality with a full HVAC system plan in all possible office locations and it will be Fitwel VRM-certified.

As many firms discussed reducing their physical presence at the height of the pandemic, Salesforce appears to be doubling down. The company reported last year that it had five offices around Manhattan, including 300,000 square feet at 3 Bryant Park.

Meanwhile, commercial office space continues to see high demand throughout the United States, especially in Midtown Manhattan, Class A buildings, many of which have undergone significant renovations over the course of the pandemic as landlords look to draw workers back to the officep. 

Manhattan overall has seen a significant increase in the square footage commitment by firms, with the borough seeing over five months of steady growth.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.