Microsoft will allow some employees to work from home permanently: Report

For some Microsoft employees, work from home may never end.

In late July, Microsoft told its employees that the company would not open its offices fully until January 2021 at the earliest, according to the Verge. But on Friday, Executive Vice President Kathleen Hogan announced that “for most roles, we view working from home part of the time (less than 50%) as now standard — assuming manager and team alignment.”

Some employees will be allowed to work from home permanently if their managers approve, according to the Verge.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” Hogan said in a note to employees, according to the Verge. “We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture.”

However, Microsoft did note that not all employees will be able to take advantage of extended work from home opportunities — people who are involved with the hardware labs, data centers, and in-person training would still need to come into the office.

For those employees who are given the ability to work from home permanently, Microsoft is also permitting relocating across the country. The report said Microsoft will cover costs related to a home office but would not cover moving expenses. Depending on where employees move, they can expect wages and benefits to be adjusted based on Microsoft’s geopay scale.

Hogan also wrote that “work schedule flexibility is now considered standard for most roles.”

With this update, Microsoft joins the growing ranks of companies with plans to extend their work from home options beyond the necessity of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. In May, Twitter announced that it was extending work from home options indefinitely. Nationwide, Facebook, Google, and even companies such as Mondelez have either enacted or announced that they are considering extended work from home options.

“We have also communicated that we are not committing to having every employee work from anywhere, as we believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace,” Hogan added.

A spokesman for Microsoft told the Washington Examiner, “We shared guidelines internally this week to provide options for our employees to plan ahead for when we can return to the workplace safely. Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention — guided by employee input, data, and our commitment to support individual workstyles and business needs while living our culture.”

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