Microsoft makes return to office optional for most employees

The Company does not intend reopening its US office before January 2021, and when it does, it will allow most employees to work from home, except those whose presence is required at office, such as those involved in training and those working at the hardware labs, data centres, etc.

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Microsoft plans to let most of its workforce work remotely at least for half their weekly working hours, even after offices begin to reopening, which is not likely before 2021. Some staff members, however, will be required to be physically present at office, such as those providing training or those working at the hardware labs and data centres. Staff can choose a flexible schedule or they can opt to work part time in consultation with their managers.

The Company will permit its employees to move to convenient locations, even if it means changing countries, to work remotely. However, the compensation and benefits in such a case will have to be reworked. Those who opt to work from home permanently will be paid for the costs they incur in setting up their home offices. Employees who opt to relocate, will have to bear the cost of relocation.

While remote working seems to be here to stay, new issues are drawing attention, such as the blurring of personal and professional space and time. In the US, the rent for office spaces has dipped drastically as the demand for offices as well as homes near business and commercial hubs or centres has fallen tremendously post the pandemic.

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