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Working from Home — the New Normal for Tech Companies

The COVID-19 experience will change many things.

by Eric Holdeman / October 11, 2020

What changes will our collective experience with the coronavirus bring about? One thing I do think will become more of a norm is the wearing of face masks in some situations, say traveling, for instance. As we have seen in many Asian countries, wearing a mask in public is commonplace. I also think distance learning will become much bigger, especially for the university system.

As for the workforce, more will be written, but here is one Puget Sound Business Journal article I'm quoting below:

"Microsoft is giving its employees new flexibility in where they work and when."

"The guidance, which was released in a blog and internal employee memo, comes after the Covid-19 outbreak proved to Microsoft and other companies that employees can work effectively from their homes.

"Other tech companies, including Amazon and Facebook are exploring similar remote work policies following the pandemic lockdowns of earlier this year, which left millions of workers doing their jobs from home and communicating via Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack and other conferencing apps.

"The situation resulted in a tectonic cultural shift at large companies, where managers have historically wanted their teams gathered in the same offices for control, communication and maximum efficiency.

"'Over the past few months, we have learned so much about productivity, flexibility, resilience and compassion,' wrote Microsoft HR chief Kathleen Hogan in a blog post Friday.

"In what it calls a 'hybrid model,' for most roles, Microsoft now considers working from home less than 50% of the time standard.

"Employees will also have the option to discuss with their managers new flexibility in their work hours and the geographic location from which they work.

"Because of the vast differences in roles and duties across the company, Microsoft is aiming for a flexible policy that accommodates individual roles.

"'For now, returning to many of our offices around the world is still optional for employees, except for essential onsite roles,' Hogan wrote in the blog post.

"Still, she cautioned, '…We are not committing to having every employee work from anywhere, as we believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace.'"

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