Microsoft will open Redmond headquarters next week in limited capacity
Big Tech is committed to get its workers back into offices. And Microsoft wants that as early as next week. Microsoft will be easing more workers back to its headquarters in Redmond, Washington beginning next Monday. Apparently, this is step number four in Microsoft's six-step process of transitioning its 160,000 employees across the globe back to the office following the pandemic.
Microsoft gives 57,000 non-essential workers choice to work from office
Microsoft plans to get its Redmond campus reopened on March 29. Starting next Monday, it will give non-essential employees the choice to work from office, home, or a combination of both. This policy applies to 57,000 employees who now have a choice to decide whether they would like to leave the comfort of their homes to stare at a screen in another location.
Microsoft won't fully open offices until virus becomes endemic
However, Microsoft won't fully open its offices just yet. Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene wrote in a blog post that won't happen until the virus acts "more like an endemic virus such as the seasonal flu". Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden hopes that would happen by July 4 this year, but that is still under question given the new vaccine-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Microsoft says work from home is standard for most roles
"Once we reach a point where COVID-19 no longer presents a significant burden on our communities, and as our sites move to the open stage of the dial, we view working from home part of the time as standard for most roles," DelBene wrote.
Separately, Google is buying more office spaces across US
Even as Microsoft gets a limited number of workers back to office while sticking to Washington state's strict capacity limits, Google is getting around that problem by expanding its office capacity across diverse states such as Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Washington DC. Ironically, for all its push toward HoloLens and augmented reality, Microsoft is still keen on getting its employees back to offices.