Microsoft will let employees work from home half the time

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

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Microsoft informed employees this week that they will have more flexibility to work from home, even after it’s safe to return to offices, a company spokesperson told CNBC Friday.

The new guidelines, previously reported by The Verge, allow all Microsoft employees to work remotely less than 50% of the time. Employees can also request approval from their managers to work remotely full time, or even move to a new location, with salaries adjusted based on geography.

Microsoft last told U.S. employees to expect to work remotely until at least January 2021.

“We shared guidelines internally this week to provide options for our employees to plan ahead for when we can return to the workplace safely,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention—guided by employee input, data and our commitment to support individual work styles and business needs while living our culture.”

Microsoft referred to the new policy as a “hybrid model,” not an all-encompassing, permanent work from home rule that other tech companies like Twitter have implemented. It’s closer to Facebook’s recent remote work policy, which allows employees to work from home with manager approval and move to a different location with adjusted salaries. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted in May that 50% of employees will be working remotely within the next five to 10 years.

Some Microsoft jobs, like data center management roles, will still require employees to show up to work in person. The new policy applies to each employee differently, depending on what their job is.

Microsoft has more than 166,000 employees, according to its latest reported data.

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