October 14 2020: Microsoft may continue with a work-from-home policy beyond the current Covid pandemic challenge and suggests this could well be its ‘new normal’ in the future... a decision that directly impacts the companies emplyees in India who number around 6500.
In a post on the official Microsoft Blog, earlier this month, Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, has shared new “hybrid workplace” guidance that outlines how employees could work from home freely for less than 50 per cent of their working week, and managers could approve permanent remote work
Ms Hogan writes in the blog:
Over the past few months, we have learned so much about productivity, flexibility, resilience and compassion. We have been working in ways we never thought possible, including managing necessary safety precautions, learning to connect with small or large teams while presenting to a screen, taking care of family and friends while being in the next room on calls, adjusting hours to address new demands and so much more. And I am deeply empathetic that this is on top of navigating the emotional toll of all that we are witnessing and experiencing.
At the same time, the pandemic has raised questions about what our employees can expect in the future, so we provided some guidance this week to employees on our thinking about work flexibility. Moving forward, it is our goal to offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture.
Flexibility can mean different things to each of us, and we recognize there is no one-size-fits-all solution given the variety of roles, work requirements and business needs we have at Microsoft. To address this, we have provided guidance to employees to make informed decisions around scenarios that could include changes to their work site, work location, and/or work hours once offices are open without any COVID-19 restrictions. Our step-by-step guidance includes considerations like office space, salary and benefits, local law, personal taxes, expenses and more.
Our guidance includes:
Our guidance is to help employees plan ahead for the future. For now, returning to many of our offices around the world is still optional for employees, except for essential onsite roles. While we’ve shared that we will challenge long-held assumptions and seek to be on the forefront of what is possible leveraging technology, we have also communicated that we are not committing to having every employee work from anywhere, as we believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace.We will continue to evolve our approach to flexibility over time as we learn more.
Related Microsoft study: The future of work—the good, the challenging & the unknown, By Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365. July 8, 2020