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Microsoft Makes Work-From-Home A Permanent Option

It’s “now standard” that Microsoft employees will get to work from home at least part of the time, a Microsoft executive says.

While the majority of Microsoft employees will not work from home full-time, the company is committing to make some amount of remote work an option going forward.

Employees whose roles allow it will now get to work from home for less than 50 percent of the week, as part of Microsoft’s hybrid workplace model, as first reported by The Verge and later confirmed by Microsoft on Friday.

[Related: Partners: Office 365 Outages Suggest Microsoft Is Getting Overwhelmed]

Microsoft managers will also be empowered to approve full-time remote work for staff members—and employees can now seek approval to relocate domestically, as well, according to the report.

In response to a request for comment from CRN on Friday, Microsoft confirmed there are new guidelines in place around remote work at Microsoft.

“We shared guidelines internally this week to provide options for our employees to plan ahead for when we can return to the workplace safely,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement provided to CRN. “Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention—guided by employee input, data, and our commitment to support individual workstyles and business needs while living our culture.”

Later on Friday, Microsoft executive Kathleen Hogan posted a blog on the company’s new “flexible workplace” guidance for employees—confirming that part-time work-from-home is “now standard” at Microsoft.

“We recognize that some employees are required to be onsite and some roles and businesses are better suited for working away from the worksite than others. However, for most roles, we view working from home part of the time (less than 50%) as now standard – assuming manager and team alignment,” wrote Hogan, executive vice president and chief people officer at Microsoft, in the blog.

Additionally, the new guidance covers flexibility around geographic location for employees, Hogan said. In terms of work location, “the guidance is there for managers and employees to discuss and address considerations such as role requirements, personal tax, salary, expenses, etc.,” she wrote.

According to The Verge’s report, for employees that are approved to relocate domestically, their compensation may change based on Microsoft’s “geopay scale.”

In July, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft had disclosed it was extending its work-from-home option through Jan. 19, 2021. At the time, the company mentioned that its “hybrid workplace strategy” would continue to be reviewed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

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