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Microsoft workers won’t return to its offices until at least 2021

Microsoft will keep its U.S. offices closed through the rest of 2020, allowing employees to continue to work from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft is said to have created a six-stage dial that illustrates the company’s plan for employees’ return to offices, The Verge reported, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans. The earliest possible date for the sixth stage, which is opening the workplaces without restrictions, is January 19.

“In the United States, we have established that the earliest possible date for Stage 6 is now January 19, 2021,” Microsoft head of corporate strategy Kurt DelBene wrote in an internal memo that was seen by The Verge. The date, however, will reportedly be pushed back depending on the necessary response to the ongoing pandemic, as the offices will return to normal only once restrictions have been lifted and it is safe for the employees to return.

The plan was confirmed by Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to Digital Trends.

“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 U.S. 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.”

Tech giants’ employees working from home

Microsoft is not the only tech giant that will allow their employees to work from home for an extended period of time, as the U.S. continues to grapple with the coronavirus.

Most Apple employees will not see their offices for at least several months, while Amazon employees who can work remotely may stay at home until January. Google employees will be working from home until July next year, while Twitter gave certain employees the option to work from home permanently.

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