Microsoft tells staff remote working is now ‘standard’

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Microsoft has said that its more than 150,000 staff can now work from home or anywhere they please, most of the time. This will be the new standard. Last Friday, the software giant released a guide on what the flexible workplace will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic is curbed enough to make working in offices safe again.

The guidance has three main points for workers.

  1. Worksite – the place where the staff work

The company recognizes that some employees have to be onsite and some rules are better suited for those working from remote locations. However, Microsoft views working from home part-time (less than 50%) is now standard, assuming teams and managers are aligned.

2. Work Hours – the hours and days employees spend on work

Work schedule flexibility is now the standard for Microsoft. Part-time work falls under manager approval. The guidance is meant to ensure that there’s an open conversation between managers and employees concerning considerations.

3. Work location – the geographical location where employees work

The guidance is provided for managers and employees to discuss and address things like role requirements, salary, personal tax, and expenses, among other things.

Sparking a conversation

The guidance will no-doubt lead to a lot of discussion among the industry participants. However, it is not so revolutionary as to cause a significant impact. Less than half the time at home has a caveat in the form of manager approvals.

Open conversations and flexible hours are now in play. Still, they do not guarantee that the approvals will always work or that there is a set of criteria with reasonable considerations to streamline this new reality. 

Microsoft could follow VMware in adjusting salaries to the cost of living in geographical areas where the employees stay. Usually, this means the reduction of payments. Other steps taken by the company include hiring spaces like WeWork for staff to use them as drop-ins.