Microsoft among big tech firms committing to remote working
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic produced a sudden and massive switch to remote working for office workers.
From the time of the first lockdowns in March to this day, solutions such as Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts have enabled the switch, which looks all the more likely to leave a lasting impression.
Undoubtedly it has been the most technologically advanced companies that have seen the least disruption from the move, which goes some way to explaining why Microsoft has said that staff will have the option of working remotely in a permanent fashion, subject to manager approval.
As , a Microsoft spokesperson said: "Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention—guided by employee input, data, and our commitment to support individual work styles and business needs while living our culture."
The news sees Microsoft joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Google, meanwhile, is not committing as strongly to the practice, though it has said it intends to make a number of its offices into “hubs” offering more flexibility to workers.
As , Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked about the company’s plans for remote working in a company meeting, where he said: "In the future when we think about it, we do see the majority of Googlers' roles will continue to be tied to a particular office and that they will live within some reasonable distance of that office.
"What we are doing is expanding the number of offices we see as hubs so that people will have a lot more choice in their lives. And beyond that, we are also thinking what does hybrid-flexible work mean in that context,"
The companies facilitating remote working have seen significant rewards come from the sudden mass uptake, with this being nowhere more evident than with cloud video communications platform Zoom. Aside from having become a household name, the company’s showed year-over-year revenue growth of 355% and a revenue outlook for the 2021 financial year of more than $2.37bn.
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