Microsoft To Let Employees Work From Home Permanently: Report

Software giant Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, US media reported on Friday, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

US tech news website The Verge said most Microsoft employees are still at home as the health crisis drags on, and the company doesn’t expect to reopen its US offices until January of next year at the earliest.

But when it does, workers can chose to work from home permanently with their manager’s approval, although they will have to give up their office space.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways,” human resources head Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by The Verge.

“We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture.”

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Microsoft Allows Its Employees To Permanently Work From Home

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Offering Work From Home, Permanently

Photo: Jeenah Moon (Getty Images)

Microsoft is the latest of the tech giants to enshrine working from home as a permanent fixture of its operations.

According to the Verge, which that cited an internal memo, instead of cautiously reopening its US workspaces and crossing its fingers that employees—or their loved ones—don’t end up with covid-19 as a result, Microsoft will shift to a “hybrid workspace.”

What that “hybrid” space actually looks like will mean different things to different employees. Every one of them will get the option to work remotely “for less than 50%” of their workweek, permanently. With supervisor approval, whoever, Microsoft will be granting some workers permanent remote status.

While Microsoft’s not the first major tech player to let its employees turn their homes into their forever-offices—Twitter first gave its employees that option back in mid-May—it’s still an idea that some tech CEO’s

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Microsoft will let some employees work from home permanently

It is now the expectation at Microsoft that workers will be remote for up to half of their hours.

As the coronavirus first spread in the United States up the West Coast, Microsoft moved in March largely to shut down its offices and require most of its staff to work from home. In May, it extended the work-from-home mandate to October, though it allowed some of its 163,000 workers around the globe to voluntarily return to their offices in stages.

At the time, Microsoft president Brad Smith said in an interview the company expects to bring back employees “more slowly rather than more quickly because, economically, we can serve the economy with more remote work than people in many industries can.”

And in July, the company said it wouldn’t fully reopen its offices until January 2021 at the earliest.

The move to make work from home permanent isn’t without precedent.

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Microsoft Lets Employees Work From Home Permanently

Microsoft is letting employees work from home permanently, The Verge reported on Friday, as more companies continue to embrace remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live, and work in new ways,” Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by The Verge. “We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture.”

Moving forward, company employees will have the option to work from home for less than half of the week, or to have their managers approve working from home on a permanent basis. Microsoft employees who opt for full-time remote work will lose their assigned office space but will still be able to use Microsoft’s offices whenever they need. The company said employees can move around the country if they like,

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Microsoft: Most employees can work from home less than 50 percent of the time

Microsoft officials this week set some new official guidelines for work-from-home for the company’s 166,000 or so employees as of 2019. Most employees will be able to work from home part-time, meaning less than 50 percent. With manager approval, some will have the option to work from home full-time.

The new rules are the result of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In early March, Microsoft began setting policies around which employees could and should work from home. In July, Microsoft officials said the company planned to reopen its offices partially in January 2021 at the earliest.

Then, as now, some employees are required to be onsite, depending on employees’ roles.

Microsoft management began circulating the new work-from-home rules selectively earlier this week, according to my contacts. The Verge reported on October 9 that Microsoft’s Chief People Office Kathleen Hogan also said employees could have the option of working from

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Microsoft reportedly letting employees work from home permanently

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Microsoft employees may get the chance to work from home permanently.


Angela Lang/CNET

Most Microsoft employees are still working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the tech giant will apparently offer them more freedom to do so when its offices reopen. The company is circulating “hybrid workplace” guidance internally that suggests more flexibility, The Verge reported Friday.

Managers will be able to approve permanent remote work, and employees who take that option will give up their assigned office space but be able to work in certain areas if and when they come into the office, the report said. In addition, employees will seemingly be able to work from home freely if they spend 50% of their work hours at the office.

Workers whose jobs are

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Microsoft Will Let Employees Work From Home Permanently

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

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Microsoft is testing Your Phone app-management improvements

newyourphonemanagement.jpg

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft rolled out a new Dev Channel test build of Windows 10 on September 30. That build, 20226, has some new storage health monitoring functionality, plus updates and fixes. But the bigger news in today’s blog post about the new build has to do with the Microsoft Your Phone app.

I use the Your Phone app quite a bit as a way to interact with my Android phone right from my Windows 10 PC screen. But setting this app up is harder than it should be, in my experience. I’m betting Microsoft is hearing the same from others, and its team seems to be working to improve the experience.

Microsoft is rolling out a new user experience meant to improve Your Phone device management. There’s a new settings page, designed to improve how users can link a new device, remove an old device and switch between active devices

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Microsoft outlines recent Edge browser improvements

In a new post on the Microsoft Edge blog, the browser’s Principal PM Lead Kim Denny has outlined how the company made it faster and more efficient over the past few months. To help users perform their tasks as quickly as possible, the team rolled out Profile-Guided Optimizations (PGOs) in Edge 81 Stable Channel and Link-Time Optimizations (LTOs) in Edge 83 back in March.

PGOs prioritize the most important parts of the code, while LTOs optimize memory usage. The two techniques apparently improved Edge’s speed by as much as 13 percent compared to previous versions, based on Speedometer 2.0 benchmark. Microsoft also introduced improvements to the browser’s scroll animation and enhanced how scrolling looks, feels and reacts to your touch in general back in April. Denny says those changes make Edge feel smoother and more responsive.

The Edge team is also continuing to work on reducing the amount of memory

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Microsoft Endpoint Manager Improvements Highlighted at Ignite — Redmondmag.com

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Microsoft Endpoint Manager Improvements Highlighted at Ignite

Improvements in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) management solution were part of Tuesday’s Microsoft Ignite online event.

Remote worker support continued as a big Ignite theme, both in the Nadella CEO keynote talk, as well as in Microsoft’s tech announcements. A few improvements in Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly knowns as “System Center Configuration Manager”) fit that theme, although not all of these capabilities are available yet.

Most of the details are covered in this announcement by Corporate Vice Presidents Brad Anderson and Takeshi Numoto.

MEM Virtual Endpoint Support
Perhaps the most interesting MEM feature described is the ability to use it to manage Windows Virtual Desktop endpoints or endpoints that run using “third-party [non-Microsoft] VDI solutions.” It can be done simultaneously with managing “your physical PCs within the same console,” the announcement promised.

MEM support for managing devices using virtual desktop infrastructure

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