Microsoft has revealed to its employees they are free to work from home indefinitely as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
An internal memo has been issued to all Microsoft employees detailing its so-called ‘hybrid workplace’ guidelines, which aim to offer greater flexibility when it comes to choosing when and where an employee chooses to work.
The internal guidance will apply to Microsoft workers once the company’s global offices reopen.
Microsoft has previously stated its US offices won’t reopen until January 2021, and it was one of the first major companies to allow all employees to work remotely before the pandemic took hold, rolling out a mandatory company-wide remote work policy.
The guidance, originally seen by The Verge, states employees can work remotely for less than 50% of their working week without their manager’s approval, or they can work totally from home with formal approval.
Should employees take the latter option, they can also relocate anywhere within the country where their office resides. Microsoft will also pay for home office costs for those who prefer remote working.
Microsoft employees will also be able to relocate to other countries if they wish, however the compensation package will vary according to their new country of residence.
Compensation will be determined by the company’s geopay scale, which means staff couldn’t claim a US salary and go to live in a country with comparatively low living costs, raking in the new-found disposable income. Employees will also have to cover their own relocation costs whether they move away domestically or internationally.
Flexible working and choosing working hours will be available to all employees without needing a manager’s approval too, as well as requesting part-time work through managers, but there are some roles which simply can’t be transformed into remote ones on a permanent basis.
Those who require physical access to the office’s hardware labs and data centres, as well as in-person training, will still have to visit the office as per their role’s responsibilities.
The advantage big tech companies have over many other offices around the world is that by the very nature of the job, everything can be planned, executed, saved and uploaded through a computer. There’s no need to access a fax machine or any other physical equipment for a web developer or cyber security threat analyst, for example.
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