Microsoft is delaying plans to reopen its offices for employees at a wider scale, according to a new internal email obtained by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Back in July, the company had pointed to January as the target date for its employees to return to work onsite as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the conditions haven't evolved favorably in the past few months.
According to the email, Microsoft work offices in the United States likely won't reach "Stage 6" – when the pandemic is no longer to deemed to have a significant impact on the country – until July 6, 2021. That means the company can't open its offices to all of its workers before then, though some workers may have the option to return to work onsite before then, at least part time.
Currently, most U.S. states are in Stage 3, meaning working from home is encouraged for most employees, though jobs that require onsite presence are exceptionally allowed to work at the offices. In Stages 4 and 5, employees can opt to work at Microsoft's offices, but with some occupancy restrictions.
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft updated its policy for working from home, establishing part-time work from home as standard for most of its employees, though some may be able to do so full time. Microsoft has also shifted most of its annual events to a virtual format for at least the first half of 2021.