Microsoft Prepares to Reopen Offices This Month – CNET

Microsoft Prepares to Reopen Offices This Month – CNET


Microsoft has slowly been phasing back into an in-person model over the last two years.


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Microsoft offices in Washington state and the Bay Area will be reopening for in-person work starting on Feb. 28, according to a blog post written by Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela on Monday. This decision comes as a result of “improving local health metrics” as cases of COVID-19 are beginning to wane and vaccine rates increase across the US.

Microsoft has slowly been phasing back into an in-person model over the last two years, and this move to reopen offices on the West Coast is its sixth and final stage. It has been continually delaying its office reopening amid the continued pandemic, but the next step would be to fully reopen every US location. 

In the post, Capossela outlines several reasons for the return-to-office decision for this month: high vaccine rates, declining hospitalizations and deaths in the state, and consistent local COVID-19 testing.

Read more: How Long Do COVID-19 Vaccines Last?

“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. 

Microsoft said it will be flexible with employees in the upcoming weeks, allowing them to request adjustments to their work site, 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.”

Microsoft is one of the first major tech companies to return to in-person work. In January, Meta delayed plans to return to office until March 28 due to the omicron variant causing cases to surge. Amazon and Google have also made similar delays to their in-person work models, while Apple has indefinitely delayed its return to office.

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