After months of working remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft announced on Friday (October 8) that employees will be able to work from home permanently. According to The Verge, Microsoft unveiled guidelines for a new “hybrid workplace” in a memo sent to employees. The plan to create a hybrid workplace will be implement once its safe to reopen office spaces.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, said in her 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 will allow all employees to work remotely for less than 50 percent of their work week. Employees will also be allowed to request to work from home full time, which will require approval from their managers. Should an employee choose to go remote permanently, they will have to give up their assigned office space, however, there will still be designated spaces available at Microsoft’s offices for times when remote employees need to touch base with their managers or co-workers.
In addition to being able to transition to permanent remote work, employees will be able to relocate domestically and internationally with proper approval from management. Compensation and benefits will change depending on the company’s own geopay scale depending on where employees decide to move. Microsoft will cover any home office expenses for permanent remote workers, however, moving fees and relocation costs will not be covered by the software company.
In the memo sent to employees, Microsoft points out that some roles will be more difficult to transition into permanent remote positions, including those that require access to hardware labs, data centers, and in-person training, according to The Verge. The option to work remotely for less than 50 percent of the work will still be available to the employees who fill those positions. Flexible working hours will also be available without manager approval.