Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is a big fan of meditation and “mindfulness.”
He’s been meditating almost every day for the past two decades, and is one of the most vocal supporters of promoting inner peace and “mindfulness” at work.
Now, he’s taking it up a notch by putting meditation rooms on every floor of one of the new Salesforce buildings that just opened in San Francisco on Monday.
The goal: to make it easy for employees to meditate, which he believes will bring more innovative ideas.
“There’s a ‘mindfulness’ zone where employees can put their phones into a basket or whatever, and go in to an area where there’s quietness,” Benioff said at the Forbes CIO Summit held on Monday. “I think this is really important to cultivating innovation in your company.”
The idea of having built-in meditation rooms didn’t come Benioff himself — it actually came from the 30 Buddhist monks who were staying at his home in San Francisco recently, he says.
After the monks made a visit to Salesforce’s office, they told Benioff, “Everywhere we go, everybody’s talking all the time, they’re working all the time, you got to stop this.”
They first suggested turning one whole floor dedicated to just silence, so people could go up and meditate whenever they wanted to. But Benioff didn’t see how that could work, and so they “negotiated” and compromised on the idea of putting it on every floor instead. And given a lot of the “super innovative” people, like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, and Elon Musk are all big “meditation” fans, Benioff believes this is an important decision.
“You can go there and not have kind of a chit-chat going on in your mind for a few moments. That’s more important today because we’re in this always-on economy,” he said.