According to an internal memo from The Verge, Microsoft will allow its employees to work permanently from home, even if the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The memo highlights the company’s plans to create a “hybrid workplace.” Microsoft said it will allow employees to work less than 50% of their working week freely from home, but has said that managers can permanently approve remote work if staff so request. Part-time working hours will also be available to employees with the consent of their supervisor.
Currently, the vast majority of the company’s employees work from home, and Microsoft previously said they would not reopen the office until January 2021.
For those whose work can be done entirely remotely, there are options to move – even internationally – if this is approved. They will have to give up their assigned office space, according to the report, but Microsoft will cover the home office’s cost for permanent external employees.
The Verge reports that “most” of Microsoft’s 150,000 employees could benefit from one of these remote work deals. However, some features still require access to the company’s offices, including those that require access to hardware labs, data centers, and personal training.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all to think, live and work in new ways,” Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, said in the note to employees. “We will provide as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while balancing business needs and ensuring that we live up to our culture.”
Microsoft isn’t the only company that permanently embraces remote working. For example, Twitter and Square have announced that staff can continue to work from home indefinitely, and Facebook predicts that up to 50% of future employees will work full-time remotely.