Microsoft’s U.S. office may not reopen until January 2021,media The Verge reported. Sources familiar with the company’s plans told The Verge that Microsoft has chosen January 19, 2021 as its earliest date for the U.S. office to be open to employees. The software giant is currently planning a phased re-opening of its “hybrid workplace” in the office, and Microsoft has created a six-stage “watch face” to show how employees are returning to normal work.
The sixth phase of the “watch face” will be when the office is ready to reopen completely and bring employees back to work. Microsoft’s offices will only resume normal operations when most of the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak are lifted and health data indicate safe return.
Here are six stages of Microsoft’s workplace “watch face”:
The first stage: closed.
Stage 2: Forced work from home.
Phase III: Strongly encourage work from home.
Stage 4: Soft Open.
Stage V: Limited openness.
Stage 6: Open.
“In the U.S., we have set an early date for Phase 6, now January 19, 2021,” said Kurt DelBene, Microsoft’s head of strategy, in an internal memo seen by The Verge. “Our goal for Phase 6 is to resume normal operations and be prepared to retreat to an earlier stage if there is a major recurrence of the virus.”
It is understood that Microsoft will adjust as needed and move the January 2021 date to deal with the ongoing outbreak. Microsoft, which had allowed employees to work from home as early as March, only enforced the home-based work policy as the outbreak spread in Seattle. The company is currently in the second phase of a workplace “watch” to maintain a mandatory home-based work order.
Microsoft isn’t the only company that plans not to return to the office until 2021. Google plans to keep its employees working remotely until July 2021, and Apple employees won’t return to the office until early next year. Facebook employees are also allowed to work remotely until the end of 2020, while Amazon will have employees working from home until January 2021.