Microsoft to allow some staff to work from home permanently

Company joins technology peers Twitter and Facebook in providing flexible work arrangements as Covid-19 changes corporate norms

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 5, 2018 the logo of French headquarters of American multinational technology company Microsoft, is pictured in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, a Paris suburb. Software giant Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, US media reported on October 9, 2020, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. / AFP / GERARD JULIEN

Microsoft will allow some of its staff to work from home permanently as it joins a growing number of technology companies in providing flexible work options due to Covid-19.

It also said it will let some employees work from home less than 50 per cent of the time if they opt to do so and views this now as "standard" for most roles, according to a post on its official blog on October 9.

Microsoft will also consider requests by employees to relocate to different cities or countries and include considerations such as role requirements, personal tax, salary and expenses, it said.

“Moving forward, it is our goal to offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture,” vice president and chief people officer Kathleen Hogan said in the blog post.

Microsoft provided guidance for its employees on the flexible work arrangements available once its offices in the US reopen without Covid-19 restrictions. Its hybrid workplace model follows other technology companies in providing permanent remote work options, marking a shift away from full-time office work.

Global technology companies are considering a staggered return to work in an effort to resume office operations safely in the absence of a vaccine.

Facebook and Twitter have already given their employees an option to work from home permanently. Apple, however, is bringing staff back to its shops in different phases after it shut down its retail operations amid the outbreak.

Google is considering a hybrid work model after an internal survey showed that most of its employees do not want to return to the office full-time.

The coronavirus crisis, which has led to legions of workers becoming home-based, has changed corporate norms, upended business travel and boosted demand for shared office space that offers flexibility amid uncertainty.

A global shift to working from home, the adoption of technology that allows employees to collaborate remotely and a push to cut costs have meant that companies are offering their employees more flexible arrangements.

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