Microsoft won't start reopening its offices until January 2021, and even then it will move slowly

  • Microsoft announced that it plans to begin reopening offices on January 19, 2021.
  • The company emailed employees on July 30 informing them of a new "hybrid workplace strategy" that it plans to roll out.
  • As part of that plan, it extended its work from home guidance until at least next year.
  • Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]).
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Microsoft plans to begin reopening its offices on January 19, 2021, the company confirmed to Business Insider. 

The company sent an email to employees on July 30 informing them of a new "hybrid workplace strategy," and extending the option to work remotely through at least January 19. 

"We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will continue to adjust dates by country as needed," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

Microsoft told employees that it's planning a six-stage hybrid workplace transition back to the office, as first reported by The Verge. Employees are currently at stage two: "mandatory working from home." The next four stages go from, "working from home strongly encouraged" to slowly reopening offices, with restrictions.  

Microsoft began closing its offices in Redmond, Washington and the San Francisco Bay Area back in March when the coronavirus spread across West coast. It announced in May that offices would reopen in October.

While some companies like Twitter and Spotify have decided to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, others have grappled with when and how to slowly reopen their offices. Amazon plans on reopening offices in early January, while Salesforce is opening its 160 offices slowly and instituting temperature scans. 

Google, meanwhile, announced employees will continue to work from home until July 2021, shuttering their offices for more than a year.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], message her on Twitter @ashannstew, or send her a secure message through Signal at 425-344-8242.

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