Microsoft is giving its employees permanent 'work from home' option

Microsoft employees can chose to work from their residences permanently although in that case they will have to give up their office space. — AFP pic

Microsoft will allow some of its staff to work from home permanently, joining a growing number of technology giants in providing flexible work options spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The media and technology giant introduced their "hybrid workplace" guidance internally, explaining to their employees that even once their USA offices reopened, there would be more flexibility involved in terms of work plans. In a statement, she said the company is offering all means possible to support all of their employees' work styles "while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture".

The company would also consider employee requests to move to another city or country if remote work would allow, though there could be salary implications and it would require approval.

Facebook Inc had said it would allow its employees to work from home till July next year, while Google had extended the remote working period for employees who do not need to be in the office till June. Microsoft will however cover the cost of home office expenses for permanent workers, and flexible hours will be available without manager approval.

Microsoft said few roles still require employees to come to office, like for hardware labs, data centres and in-person training.

Microsoft's memo comes nearly five months to the day after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees that those whose jobs permit it will be allowed to work remotely forever - even after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to consider remote work for its employees. Microsoft has previously said that its offices won't reopen until January 2021.

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Microsoft's guide also reminds us that office access is still important for some tasks.

Tech giant, Microsoft will allow employees to work from home for less than half of their working week.

Microsoft chose to make the work from home permit permanent.

Employees have to bear the additional responsibilities of managing safety precautions, learning to connect with teams while presenting to a screen, and most importantly, achieving the work-life balance, the company has acknowledged.

"When people say you're working from home, it feels sometimes like you're sleeping at work".

Firstly, those employees whose physical presence is required would not be able to take benefit from the new "Hybrid Workplace" system.

"The radical extremes - so, full-time in the office or full-time at home - are not ideal for most people", said Prof Bloom.

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