hile some companies are channeling their efforts to improve old offices, adapting them to new work dynamics and making them attractive enough for people to want to work from there, leaving their homes or 'work from anywhere', there are organisations that are one step ahead. This is the case with Salesforce, which, following a remote work logic, is committed to building a centre focused on well-being, mental health and social interaction among team members. Although located in California, Trailblazer Ranch will also be able to receive Portuguese employees. By the end of the year, the tech's wellness retreat should be used by around 10,000 employees.

“The Trailblazer Ranch serves a different purpose, that of deepening the relationship between employees and between teams and the company, and people's relationship with themselves, in a more relaxed, casual, inviting and comfortable environment”, explains Fernando Braz, country leader at Salesforce Portugal, quote by the magazine "Pessoas". “It is one of the first experiences in the world and it serves this purpose of investing in the corporate culture and investing in the well-being of our employees”, he adds.

Located just outside of Scotts Valley, California, on nearly nine acres, Trailblazer Ranch was created to be a work and wellness center for Salesforce's nearly 70,000 employees. The space features 140 rooms, multiple meeting and gathering spaces, outdoor venues with outdoor fireplaces, amphitheaters and even a lake. To promote social interaction, the center also has several hiking trails and facilities where visitors can cook together while meeting and interacting.

This new space will mainly be used for team meetings with a focus on training and for onboarding new employees, which, over the past years, when the pandemic hit, has moved to the digital plan in many companies. Salesforce continued to recruit, and there are now thousands of new employees who have never met in person.

“The lack of face-to-face collaboration has highlighted the importance of having ways to keep the corporate culture present. Trailblazer Ranch allows us to deepen relationships between team members and even with partners, by developing an experience of the Salesforce culture in a totally different way”, explains Fernando Braz.

In operation since March, the company expects the new wellness centre to be used by around 10,000 employees by the end of the year. And everyone is welcome, regardless of where they work: “The Trailblazer Ranch can also be used by the team in Portugal".

The power of retreats

Even companies that are not building, such as Salesforce, a space focused on the well-being of employees, are investing in moments dedicated to mental health. This is the case with corporate retreats. At Coverflex we are fans of this model and, despite being 100% remote, we arrange retreats for the whole team to meet and be together for a few days as often as possible.

Currently, there are already several concepts of business retreats, from those more focused on training in specific strategic themes and on networking, as is the case of Business Retreats, to those that, like Teamy, are dedicated to organising experiences, in retreats and workations, tailored to each team. There are also concepts that are guided by a common goal, which can be, for example, to plant trees to regenerate the Portuguese forest, as in Primal Gathering, or even those that bet on a strong creative and artistic aspect, as in Cerdeira – Home for Creativity.

More than balancing the private and professional spheres of employees, the wellness retreat of the American software-on-demand company, as well as the corporate retreats, are based on the concept of work-life integration. “It's to important to understand that there are not two lives in one person, the professional one and the personal one. Integration is understanding that both are part of the same person and that there is no switch to change the chip“, considers Fernando Braz.

The main benefit is the “acceptance of this reality and realising that our teams are made up of people (in the broadest and most comprehensive meaning of the term)”. “No company expects to be working with robots, we are working with dads, mums, children, grandparents, friends…”.