Microsoft informed its employees back in July that it wouldn’t fully re-open its U.S. offices until January 2021, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly forced the company to change its plans. According to a new report from ZDNet, Microsoft’s Senior Leadership team told its employees yesterday about a new July 2021 target for re-opening its U.S. offices.
In an email sent to employees, Kurt Delbene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations, explained that the company’s U.S. offices may be able to reach the safe-enough "Stage 6” as soon as 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,” Delbene explained in the email.
In the meantime, Microsoft is still allowing select employees to work from its U.S. offices according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, though working remotely remains “strongly encouraged.” As of other countries where Microsoft is operating, it’s still up to local executives to decide when all employees will be able to come back to corporate offices.
Many companies around the world have asked employees to start working from home since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and this is especially true in the U.S. where the number of cases is approaching 10 million. As Microsoft continues to put the safety and well-being of its employees first, the company is definitely right to take its time to re-open its U.S. offices.