It’s been more than a year since Covid-19 pandemic made its presence seriously felt across the world. 2020 saw the work dynamic change completely as almost every big firm made work-from-home (WFH) mandatory. However, with vaccine drives underway in several parts of the world, organisations are looking to come back to the ‘old’ normal. Microsoft is one such organisation.
According to a blog post by Kurt DelBene, executive vice president, Microsoft, the company is set to recall employees at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington and nearby campuses. “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,” wrote DelBene in the blog post. He further said that employees have the choice “to return to those facilities or to continue working remotely, and also have the flexibility to do a mixture of both.”
Image courtesy: Microsoft
Microsoft acknowledges and recognises that workplaces aren’t the same as they were when people were forced to work from home. DelBene noted in the blog post that the company has “assessed all Microsoft work sites to understand what adjustments are needed to enable social distancing and meet local health standards and will provide all employees and external staff personal supplies such as disinfectant wipes and face coverings to use while on-site.”
Microsoft is limited capacity in conference rooms, cafeterias and even transportation services. “We remain committed to delivering spaces that anticipate the different ways teams need to work together while providing the flexibility and agility we now require,” said DelBene.
It’s not as if working from home has been junked completely by Microsoft. “Empowering remote productivity remains a requirement that will involve new collaboration tools, robust cloud infrastructure and a new way of thinking about network security. We also recognise that hybrid work presents new challenges like making sure everyone feels included and engaged regardless of role or location,” noted DelBene in the blog post.
Currently, Microsoft has over 1.6 lakh employees and offices in 21 countries across the world.
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