As several companies strive to take their workflows to the WFH model permanently, Microsoft has now announced a revolutionary setting called a ‘hybrid workplace’, that will offer greater flexibility to all its employees, even after the pandemic dies down.
The software giant in a recent statement written by Microsoft Executive Vice President Kathleen Hogan claimed, “Flexibility can mean different things to each of us, and we recognize there is no one-size-fits-all solution given the variety of roles, work requirements and business needs we have at Microsoft. To address this, we have provided guidance to employees to make informed decisions around scenarios that could include changes to their worksite, work location, and/or work hours once offices are open without any COVID-19 restrictions.”
One of the biggest companies to introduce this route, most of Microsoft’s employees have worked remotely since March, which has created an environment that isn’t completely unprecedented. After the health crisis is over, it will be normal for most roles to remain remote less than 50% of the time with manager approval, the company said.
Microsoft will be covering home office expenses for permanent remote workers, but if employees who decide to move away from Microsoft’s offices will need to cover their own relocation costs. Flexible working hours will also be available without manager approval, and employees can also request part-time work hours through their managers.
The company has also stated that most workers’ work schedules were also flexible, meaning start and end times for workdays were no longer standard. This being said, Microsoft has also added that a few roles will still have to be worked for at the company’s offices, including those that require access to hardware labs, data centers, and in-person training. Employees will also be allowed to relocate domestically with approval, or even seek to move internationally if remote working is viable for their particular role.
In line with several tech companies like Twitter and Squarehave, employees at Microsoft who choose to work remotely on a permanent basis won’t have assigned office spaces but will have access to flexible “touchdown space” at Microsoft’s offices. In other news, Facebook is also in the process of shifting tens of thousands of jobs to remote work, claiming that half of their workforce could go into a permanent remote setting within the next 5 years.