For the first time since the outbreak more than a year ago, Microsoft is allowing workers in its Seattle area to return to office.
About 57,000 Microsoft employees will be able to return to office in Redmond, Bellevue and Seattle on March 29, the company announced on Monday in a blog post by Microsoft CEO Kurt DelBene.
“We have been following the local health data for months, and we have decided that the university can safely accommodate more staff while staying within the capacity of the state of Washington,” Del Been said in a blog post. Washington eased coronavirus restrictions on Monday, allowing indoor bandwidth to be increased from 25% to 50%.
Microsoft is the first major local employer to announce a general return to office. Technology giant Redmond has allowed a limited number of employees to work in the office for months.
DelBene says Redmond employees are still encouraged to work remotely, with the company limiting the number of people allowed at a time.
Next month, Facebook will reopen its Seattle-based offices with a 10% capacity for employees struggling to work from home, spokeswoman Tracy Clayton confirmed Monday. But the social media network – other major tech employers, including Amazon – say they do not anticipate a wider return of the office until this summer.
“From next week, Microsoft employees will be able to work from home, office, or a combination of the two,” DelBene said in a blog post. The company’s data from other offices around the world, many of which have already reopened with limited capacity, show that most employees still choose to work in the office for less than 25% of their working time.
This developer startup story will be updated.