Microsoft won't reopen its offices until January 2021

The Microsoft logo as seen in large print fixed onto a glass building
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Microsoft has confirmed that it won't fully reopen its offices until January 2021.

The company, which first began to allow employees to work from home in March in light of the coronavirus pandemic, told The Verge that employees won't return to its US offices until 19 January 2021 at the earliest.

It's currently planning a six-stage phased "hybrid" approach for the re-opening of its offices, the report states.

Stage six, which will see Microsoft's offices returning to normal operations, will only be reached when most restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak have been lifted and when health data suggests it’s safe for employees to return.

“On July 30th, we shared additional information on our hybrid workplace strategy with our global workforce and extended the option of working remotely through January 19, 2021 at the earliest in the US,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in the statement.

“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.”

We've asked Microsoft whether this policy also extends to its employees in the UK but have not yet received a response.

Microsoft isn’t alone in its plans to not return to offices until 2021. Google is planning to keep its employees working remotely until July 2021, Apple employees won’t be returning to offices until early next year and Twitter has said that staff can work remotely indefinitely.

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella previously warned of the dangers of permanent remote working. He said that while productivity has risen for many of Microsoft’s workers, companies risk losing out on a connected workforce if long-term working from home is implemented, which could also impact things such as mentorship programs and team building activities.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a freelance technology journalist, editor and copywriter specialising in cyber security, B2B, and consumer technology. She has more than a decade of experience in the industry and has written for a range of publications including Forbes, IT Pro, the Metro, TechRadar, TechCrunch, TES, and WIRED, as well as offering copywriting and consultancy services. 

Prior to entering the weird and wonderful world of freelance journalism, Carly served as editor of tech tabloid The INQUIRER from 2012 and 2019. She is also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, where she earned a degree in journalism.

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