Microsoft will now allow its employees to work from home permanently, according to a report from The Verge. Citing Microsoft’s internal guidance where the tech giant outlines the company’s flexible working plans for the future, The Verge reported that Microsoft will now allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50 percent of their working week, or for managers to approve permanent remote work.
Before this announcement, a vast majority of Microsoft employees are already working from home during the ongoing pandemic. The tech giant also unveiled “hybrid workplace” guidance internally to allow for far greater flexibility once US offices eventually reopen.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” says Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, in a note to employees. “We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture.”
Microsoft is not alone in allowing its employees to permanently work from home. In March, Amazon informed its employees in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, to work from home if they can through the end of the month. The announcement came after the e-commerce giant informed employees of the change late Wednesday, one day after Amazon confirmed that an employee who works in one of its Seattle offices tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon’s headquarter is based in Seattle, where it employs more than 2,000 people.
Other technology companies have been urging their employees to work from home amid a coronavirus outbreak in the North-Eastern part of the United States. Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook have also asked employees in the Seattle area to work from home. “We are recommending that employees in Seattle/Bellevue who are able to work from home do so through the end of the month,” Amazon spokesperson said.
Microsoft’s move to more flexible working comes months after the company notified employees that its US offices wouldn’t reopen until January 2021 at the earliest.