Microsoft return to U.S. offices delayed indefinitely

<p><p>REDMOND — Microsoft told employees Thursday that it has indefinitely delayed their return to U.S. offices until it’s safer to do so.</p></p><p><p>“Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we’ve decided against attempting to forecast a new date for a full reopening of our U.S. work sites,” Jared Spataro, a corporate vice president, wrote in a blog post.</p></p><p><p>Microsoft had already postponed its planned return to the workplace from September to no earlier than Oct. 4, but now says the re-opening won’t be next month.</p></p><p><p>Microsoft employs about 181,000 full-time workers, of whom 103,000 are in the U.S.</p></p><p><p>Microsoft will wait for public health guidance on when it is safe to return, Spataro said. It will then give workers a 30-day transition period to prepare.</p></p><p><p>Last month Microsoft said it will require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and visitors to its U.S. offices starting this fall.</p></p><p><p>The tech giant has made a big push since the pandemic emerged to tailor its suite of workplace software products to homebound workers and timed its delayed re-opening announcement with a number of new product features.</p></p><p><p><a href=”https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-technology-business-software-san-francisco-9e49f60362702a18dc7180e6294599b4″ target=”—blank”>A hybrid approach</a> permitting employees to toggle between remote and in-office work has been widely embraced in the technology industry, particularly among the largest companies with the biggest payrolls.</p></p><p><p>Many tech companies had plans for bringing back most of their workers around Labor Day weekend, but Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and a growing list of others have already decided to wait until next year.</p></p>