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Microsoft Prepares to Reopen Its Offices and Enter Hybrid-Work Era

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Microsoft Corp. , one of the first American companies to ask staff to shift to remote work more than a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic hit, is ready to begin welcoming employees back to the office.

Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters and nearby campuses will start shifting to a hybrid-work approach on March 29, with some employees returning to office desks while others work from home, the company said Monday.

“Our goal is to give employees further flexibility, allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable, while also encouraging employees to work from home as the virus and related variants remain concerning,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

The software company’s office locations spanning 21 countries will be ready to accommodate additional workers in compliance with guidance from local authorities, the company said. The initial guidance affects roughly 20% of Microsoft’s more than 160,000 employees, the company said.

Microsoft said it doesn’t expect to recall all employees soon. Once the pandemic is no longer a significant threat to communities, Microsoft said, the company expects a partial work-from-home schedule to be routine for many of its jobs. The company previously has said it would allow some workers to work remotely on a permanent basis with their manager’s approval.

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