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Microsoft Extends Work-From-Home Option Through January

The company discloses that it won’t require workers to return to the office until Jan. 19, 2021, at the earliest.

Microsoft says it will allow many employees to continue working from home until at least January of 2021.

In a statement provided to CRN, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said it is extending its work-from-home option through Jan. 19, 2021.

[Related: Microsoft Sees Cloud Shift Accelerating, ‘Slowdown’ In On-Prem Licensing]

“On July 30th, we shared additional information on our hybrid workplace strategy with our global workforce and extended the option of working remotely through January 19, 2021 at the earliest in the U.S.,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in the statement. “We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will continue to adjust dates by country as needed.”

The statement followed a report Friday that Jan. 19, 2021, is the earliest date Microsoft is considering for fully re-opening its U.S. offices amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft is eyeing a phased re-opening of offices—eventually reaching an “open with restrictions” phase first before the full re-opening, The Verge reported.

The goal at that point is “to return to normal operations while being prepared to back off to an earlier stage, if a significant resurgence in the virus occurs,” a Microsoft executive wrote in an internal memo that’s quoted in the report.

Headquartered in the first U.S. region to see a major outbreak of the coronavirus, Microsoft was among the initial companies to allow employees to work-from-home, when it did so in early March.

Other tech giants have also signaled that work-from-home will continue for some time into the future.

For instance, most Google employees will have the option to work remotely through at least the summer of 2021, the company said this week--while Amazon last week extended its work-from-home option for many employees through Jan. 8, 2021.

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