Microsoft Pushes Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Posted on March 5, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 4 Comments

Microsoft is reportedly pushing employees to work from home due to increased concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The Verge reports that Microsoft has updated its guideline for employees, allowing employees based in its Seattle and San Francisco offices to work from home till March 25th (Microsoft previously said March 9).

The move comes after employees were reportedly dissatisfied with the actions Microsoft took internally to protect its employees. The company has already cancelled a couple of events due to the coronavirus outbreak, though it’s yet to make a decision on two of its biggest conferences, Build 2020 and Ignite.

An internal memo obtained by The Verge revealed that Microsoft is actually encouraging employees to work from home. The software maker is even recommending those who feel sick, or have had contact with some else diagnosed with coronavirus, to work from home.

That’s not too surprising, of course. A recent coronavirus outbreak in King County, Washington, which is close to Microsoft’s campus, has probably led to a lot of employees being concerned about their health and safety. There’s been a total of 31 confirmed cases of coronavirus victims in King County at the time of writing this story.

Microsoft is also pushing employees to work from home in other parts of the world, with the company closing a majority of its sites in China. In South Korea, Microsoft employees are required to work from home. And although the company’s offices in Singapore and Italy are still open, employees are allowed to work from home if needed.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Microsoft Pushes Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus Concerns”

  1. igor engelen

    Guess this is happening in most companies now. All our IT teams have been split into 2 groups. 1 group works in office, the other from home. After 2 weeks the roles are switched.

  2. hellcatm

    Is this going to far? I mean everything I read about the Coronavirus is its just another strain of the flu. Its mostly killing older people and infants, basically people who have low immunity because of age. Then again I'm not a virologist or epidemiologist so what do I know?

  3. youwerewarned

    That is the AI-informed estimate of how long a standard employee can hold their breath. Just a beta...

  4. dbonds

    "allowing employees based in its Seattle and San Fransisco offices to work from home till March 9th."


    I think you mean March 25th (from the verge article). March 9th would effectively mean "take a long weekend" - suspect it'll take longer than that for the hysteria to settle down and everyone to figure out the true impact of this.

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