Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, according to media reports. The company would become the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to The Verge, most Microsoft employees are still at home as the health crisis drags on, and the company does not expect to reopen its US offices until January of next year at the earliest. Microsoft will allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50 per cent of their working week, or for managers to approve permanent remote work, even after the restrictions ease. Employees who opt for the permanent remote work option will give up their assigned office space, but still have options to use touchdown space available at Microsoft’s offices.
“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.”
Some employees won't be eligible for remote-work arrangements, such as those who work in Microsoft's labs or train other employees.
In its memo, the company co-founded by Bill Gates said it is possible for its workers to relocate across the United States or perhaps overseas, The Verge reported. Those that relocate may see their salaries change depending on where they go, and while the company will cover expenses for employees' home offices, it won't cover relocation expenses.
Some major tech firms have already allowed permanent work-from-home arrangements including Facebook, whose boss Mark Zuckerberg said half of the social network's staff could be permanently working remotely within five to 10 years.