The tragic course of the pandemic in USA has meant that that date has now been pushed back even further, to July 2021.
A new internal Microsoft memo from the Senior Leadership Team has informed employees that the earliest date the U.S. worksites will likely be in “Stage 6” to July 6, 2021.
“Returning to the worksite remains optional until we get to Stage 6. This stage represents a time when COVID-19 is no longer a significant burden on a country/region and most health and safety restrictions at our worksites are removed,” according to Microsoft’s Kurt Delbene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations, the author of the latest email.
This does not mean employees will not be able to work in the office part-time, but working from home is still “strongly encouraged.”
For states in Stage 3 with a lower disease burden, employees who find it difficult to work from home can return to the office if desired.
The 6 stages are:
Stage 1: closed
Stage 2: mandatory working from home
Stage 3: working from home strongly encouraged
Stage 4: soft opening
Stage 5: open with restrictions
Stage 6: open
Microsoft has also recently announced policy that says employees should be default be able to work from home 50% of their time, and 100% of their time with the permission of managers, meaning some employees may never return back to the office.
Microsoft’s policy matches current policies of other tech giants, with Facebook expecting their employees to work from home until the end if 2020, Amazon until January 2021 and Google also all the way back to July 2021.