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Working Remotely – could it become the new norm, forever?

Microsoft, WFH, Working Life...

Most of us have become pretty accustomed to working from home over the past seven months, so much so that it has started to become the new norm.

Many businesses working in an office environment have asked their staff to work remotely in order to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, and as a whole it has worked as best as it can.

One company in particular, Microsoft, has said it will allow it’s 150,000 employees to work remotely on a permanent basis, even after the pandemic is over. The company has created a memo which states that employees will be encouraged to work from home for less than 50% of their working week, but this wouldn’t necessarily be the case if staff request to work from home permanently.

Along with Microsoft, many companies have seen their staff work from home for the majority of the year, but some have already returned to their places of work with measurements put in place. On the other hand, Microsoft plans to open its offices in January 2021 with limited staff.

Microsoft’s Chief People Office Kathleen Hogan said in the memo: “The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways. We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workstyles.”

Microsoft isn’t the only business to make this decision though. Social media company Twitter and financial service company Square have both agreed to letting staff work remotely. Facebook may also be following in their steps by expecting up to 50% of its employees to be working from home full-time going forward.

So what does that mean for the rest of us? Of course, there are many companies where working remotely just isn’t feasible. But for those who have been practicing it since March, it has proved successful as a whole. Who’s to say that in the next few years, remote working will be the only way to go? As tough as this year has been for everyone, it has had a few advantages and having the ability to work remotely is one of them. Prior to Covid, not many businesses entertained the idea of working from home but have gone back on that due to it being the only option, and it’s proved effective.