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Salesforce leases resort so WFH employees can actually meet

Yoga, hiking, outdoor campfires, communal dining, and other amenities await any new hires and other employees at Salesforce. The Silicon Valley cloud-based software giant has signed a multi-year lease to book a 140-room, 75-acre resort in Scotts Valley, California, just 70 miles south of San Francisco. The wellness retreat, known as “Trailblazer Ranch,” will allow workers to decamp for some corporate training and team bonding as well as much-needed rest and relaxation, according to The Wall Street Journal. The facility will be used to orient new hires, who will get first crack at booking rooms on the premises. The retreat will also be used for off-site team meetings, according to the company. Management reserved the site due to concerns that COVID-era remote work has weakened employee camaraderie and loyalty to the company. Salesforce, which employs 70,000 people, aims to book rooms for 10,000 of its workers by the end of this year. Stays will be a minimum of two nights, though that number will likely go up in the future. The company said that it will prioritize certain workers over others when determining who can book stays at the retreat. The resort is run by 1440 Multiversity, a nonprofit that offers extended “rest and renewal” stays to companies and organizations. It used to be owned by Bethany University, a nearly century-old private Christian college that is now defunct. The college’s former chapel, known as The Sanctuary, has been repurposed into a large yoga studio that holds enough space for some 30 participants. The center also boasts a communal dining hall that offers locally sourced meals. There are also dozens of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces for both small and large groups spread out throughout the campus. Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff recently said his aim was to build a company retreat center from the ground up. He told the Journal that the retreat will not serve as a substitute for the office. “We’ve hired thousands of employees who have never met in person,” Benioff said. “Trailblazer Ranch will give us and our stakeholders a way to forge deeper relationships [and] experience our culture in a whole new way.” Salesforce plans to have its employees back in the office between one and three days per week once the pandemic is over. Until then, employees will be permitted to continue working from home.

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