Microsoft will let its employees work from home permanently, even once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
In an internal memo seen by The Verge that highlights the company’s plans to create a “hybrid workplace”, Microsoft said it will allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50% of their working week, but has said that managers will be able to approve permanent remote work if staff request it. Part-time working hours will also be available for employees with approval from their manager.
Currently, the cast majority of the company’s employees are working from home, and Microsoft previously said they would not reopen office until at least January 2021.
For those whose work can be done entirely remote, there are options to relocate – even internationally – if approved. They will have to give up their assigned office space, according to the report, but Microsoft will cover home office expenses for permanent remote workers.
The Verge reports that “most” of Microsoft’s 150,000 employees would be able to take advantage of one of these remote-work offerings. However, some roles will still require access company’s offices, including those that require access to hardware labs, data centers, and in-person training.
“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 the 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 isn’t the only company to embrace permanent remote working. Twitter and Square, for example, have announced that staff can continue to work from home indefinitely, and Facebook is predicting that up to 50% of its employees going forward will work remotely on a full-time basis.