By Allison Prang
Microsoft Corp. is going to permit some staff to work from home on a regular basis even after the pandemic fades in another sign that changes to work routines made in recent months will be enduring.
The software giant told employees in an internal memo this week that staff, once regular office work resumes, are going to be allowed to work from home routinely, as long as that time adds up to less than half of their workweek, Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan said in a blog post Friday. Work schedule flexibility, she added, is now considered standard for most roles.
Some workers will be able to work remotely on a permanent basis if it is approved by managers, Microsoft said. Tech news outlet The Verge earlier reported on the memo.
Microsoft's move to allow people to work from home permanently capitalizes on the trend that has become common for many businesses and industries because of the pandemic. Social-media company Twitter Inc. in May said that most of the company's staff would be able to keep working remotely after the Covid-19 outbreak has passed.
"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," Ms Hogan said. The company, however, won't shift entirely to remote work. "We believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace," Ms. Hogan said.
Microsoft was one of the first big American companies to ask employees to work from home when the pandemic struck. It also has been one of the big corporate winners from the pandemic, as companies adapted to navigate the remote-work environment and have embraced the kind of cloud-computing services and workplace collaboration tools the Redmond, Wash.-based company sells.
Many companies have yet to return to the office. Google is keeping most of its staff working remotely until at least July 2021. Facebook Inc. is letting staff work remotely through July 2021 after earlier saying workers could remain away from offices through the end of 2020.
Microsoft employees also are going to be allowed to move domestically in the U.S., pending approval, but benefits and pay may change based on the company's compensation scale by location, a person briefed on the guidance said.
Microsoft also said more changes may be ahead. "We will continue to evolve our approach to flexibility over time as we learn more," Ms. Hogan said.
--Aaron Tilley contributed to this article.
Write to Allison Prang at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires