Microsoft to Soft Open its Headquarters on March 29

Posted on March 22, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft with 23 Comments

One year after issuing a mandatory work-from-home order to its employees, Microsoft will begin welcoming them back to work next week.

“After over a year in which most Microsoft employees have worked remotely, several of our work sites around the globe have reached a stage that meets or exceeds government requirements to accommodate more workers, while many other employees will continue to work remotely,” Microsoft executive vice president Kurt DelBene writes in the announcement post. “Currently, Microsoft work sites in 21 countries have been able to accommodate additional workers in our facilities, representing around 20 percent of our global employee population. On March 29, Microsoft will also start making this shift at our Redmond, Washington, headquarters and nearby campuses.”

Given the hybrid workplace model that Microsoft has been proselytizing since last year, it should come as no surprise that the software giant isn’t simply going to open the doors and welcome all of its employees back at once. Instead, it will provide services on campus for those who choose to return, while supporting those who need to work remotely or feel more comfortable doing so.

“Our goal is to give employees further flexibility, allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable, while also encouraging employees to work from home as the virus and related variants remain concerning,” DelBene explains. “we’ve been closely monitoring local health data for months and have determined that the campus can safely accommodate more employees on-site while staying aligned to Washington state capacity limits. As we watch for progress against the virus in the region and continue to evaluate our guidance, employees who work at Redmond work sites or nearby campuses have the choice to return to those facilities or to continue working remotely, and also have the flexibility to do a mixture of both.”

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