Microsoft gives up on trying to predict when its US offices will reopen

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What just happened? Microsoft is waving the white flag on trying to predict when it’ll fully reopen its US work sites. Jared Spataro, corporate VP for modern work at Microsoft, said they had originally planned to fully reopen Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters on October 4. The evolving Covid-19 Delta variant, however, prompted them to adjust those plans.

“It’s a stark reminder that this is the new normal,” Spataro said.

Given the pandemic’s uncertainty, Microsoft has decided to quit trying to forecast a full reopening date. Rather, the tech giant will work towards opening work sites as soon as they can safely do so, based on public health guidance.

Once that point is reached for a given work site, Microsoft will start a 30-day transition period in order to give employees enough time to prepare for the change.

A new survey out today reveals that 90 percent of Microsoft employees currently feel included in their work, an all-time high for the Redmond company. Similarly, 90 percent of those polled said they have confidence in their manager while 96 percent said their manager treats them with respect and dignity.

Spataro said these results show that employees don’t have to be physically together to feel like they’re in it together.

Microsoft’s survey also paints an interesting picture of the pros and cons of remote versus office work, and one that likely resembles what others are experiencing across the country and around the globe during this unique time.

With no end in sight, it seems increasingly likely that more companies will follow Microsoft in simply playing things by ear and stop trying to peer into their crystal ball for the answers.

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