Microsoft to reportedly allow its 150,000 employees to work from home permanently, the latest tech giant to do so
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, listens to a question at Microsoft's annual general meeting on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 in Bellevue, Washington. AP Photo / Elaine Thompson
Even after the coronavirus pandemic is over, Microsoft will reportedly allow most employees to work from home indefinitely.
According to an internal memo from The Verge, employees are allowed to work from home for less than half of their work week - and can work entirely from home if approved by their manager.
Microsoft is the youngest major tech company to take such action on an ongoing basis, following similar decisions by Facebook, Twitter, and Square, among others.
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Even if the measures against the coronavirus pandemic are lifted, Microsoft employees will no longer have to return to the office.
According to an internal Microsoft memo from The Verge, Microsoft employees are allowed to work from home for less than half of their work week. Pending approval by the manager, some employees are allowed to work from home full time.
Given the nature of Microsoft's business as a software and hardware developer, some employees in roles that require physical presence may not benefit from the new Hybrid Workplace policy, according to the report. For example, employees involved in hardware research and development or employees involved in personal training cannot do this work remotely.
For others whose work can be done completely remotely, there are options to relocate, including internationally, if approved. The Verge reported that "most" of Microsoft's 150,000 employees could use one of these remote work opportunities.
At least one major Microsoft product was delayed through 2020 due to remote work that slowed production: the next-generation Xbox launch game, Halo Infinite. The game is expected to be released in 2021, months after the Xbox Series S and Series X arrived on November 10th.
"The decision to postpone our release is the result of several factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impact that affects us all this year," studio manager Chris Lee wrote in mid-August. "It's not sustainable to the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it out this vacation."
When the coronavirus pandemic sent millions of Americans indoors in March and remote working became the norm for many businesses, some tech giants decided to make remote working an integral part of their workplace.
For example, Twitter and Square allow employees to work remotely over the long term, and Facebook predicts that up to 50% of future employees will work remotely. You are among dozens of companies that have chosen to permanently change the way their workplace uses office space - a decision that supports more than half of American workers.
Microsoft confirmed the report in an email to Business Insider. "We exchanged guidelines internally this week to give our employees the opportunity to plan in advance when we can safely return to work," the statement said. "Our goal is to deliberately evolve the way we work over time - guided by employee input, data and our commitment to support individual work styles and business needs while living our culture."
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