Microsoft said on Monday that it will reopen its headquarters office next week and implement a “hybrid workplace,” which will bring back more employees around the world after a year of remote work during the pandemic.

This move is the first formal reopening plan announced by a large high-tech company, which has allowed most employees to work remotely where feasible in the past year.

The tech giant has approximately 160,000 employees worldwide and said on Twitter: “Our approach is data-driven and supported by research.”

Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene said in a statement: “As of today, after most Microsoft employees have been working remotely for more than a year, some of our work locations around the world have reached Or exceed the government requirements to accommodate more employees.” Blog post.

“At present, Microsoft’s workplaces in 21 countries/regions have been able to accommodate more workers in our factories, accounting for about 20% of our global employees. On March 29, Microsoft will also be in our factory in Rayleigh, Washington. Demond, headquarters and nearby locations began this transformation campus.”

DelBene said that the hybrid model will allow the flexibility to allow some employees to continue working remotely, while bringing some employees back to the office if conditions permit.

He said: “In each of our global workplaces, the mixed workplace model is balanced, providing limited additional services on campus for those who choose to return, while providing support for those who need to work remotely or feel more comfortable. “

“Our goal is to provide employees with greater flexibility so that they can work where they feel most efficient and comfortable, while also encouraging employees to work from home, because the virus and its related variants are still worrying.”

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DelBene added that at the headquarters in Northwest Washington State, “We have been closely monitoring the local health data for several months and have determined that the campus can safely accommodate more employees while maintaining the capacity limits of Washington State. Consistent.”

Microsoft will adjust the level of on-site and remote work in each of its locations through the various stages of reopening to take into account the health status.

A company survey found that 54% of employees like “soft opening”, which gives people the option to spend some time in the office.

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