Even though this news might be bad for those who don’t want to go back to the office any longer, Microsoft has officially made it known that its offices in the state of Washington and the Bay Area will be reopening for in-person work starting from Feb. 28th.
The information was publicized via a blog post written by the company’s CMO Chris Capossela on Monday.
This is a result of “improving local health metrics” as cases of COVID-19 are starting to dwindle while vaccination increases across the country.
The tech giant has started phasing back into an in-person model of work over the past couple of years. In fact, this move to reopen offices on the West Coast is going to be the company’s sixth and final.
Even though there have been numerous attempts to reopen its offices, the constant evolution of the pandemic continues to jeopardize all of these attempts.
However, Capossela has outlined several reasons for the return to the in-person operation decision this month with high vaccine rates being the leading reason while other reasons include the steady decline in the rate of hospitalizations and deaths in the state while there are also constant local COVID-19 testing.
“As of Feb. 8, 2022, 83.8% of eligible King County residents — where most of our Washington state employees live — have completed their vaccine series, and 91.6% have received at least one dose,” Capossela said in the post.
Even with the decision, the tech giant made it known that it will operate a flexible model thereby allowing employees to request adjustments to their worksite, location, or hours for a more hybrid working schedule.
All employees will have 30 days from Feb. 28 to make those adjustments.
“When we originally shared our return to office approach with employees in the spring of 2020, our world looked much different,” Capossela said. “Throughout the past 18 months, we’ve seen exciting advances in science and medicine — from the development of vaccines to new strides in medical treatments. While the world has changed, our dedication to the safety and well-being of our employees has remained constant. As we navigate this new phase of work, we’ll continue to take a data-driven approach to decision making that follows the guidance of public health authorities.”
Apple is the only tech giant that has indefinitely suspended an in-person return to the office while other big tech companies such as Meta, Amazon, and Google have delayed theirs until the month of March due to the reported cases of Omicron across the country.
There are however some companies that have adopted a hybrid work schedule whereby their employees can choose to come to the office or not. The decision by Microsoft will certainly get some pushback internally but it’s left for the executives to make the final decisions.
Do you think going back to the in-person work model is the best way to go or do you think a hybrid or completely remote work model is the best? Let us know in the comment section below.