(Photo : David Ramos/Getty Images) A logo sits illuminated outside the Microsoft pavilion on the opening day of the World Mobile Congress at the Fira Gran Via Complex on February 22, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.

Microsoft is now allowing more of its employees to work from home permanently, the company announced on Friday.

A vast majority of Microsoft's employees are still on a work-from-home basis amid the pandemic, but the company also unveiled its own "hybrid workplace" guidance.

Using the new guidance, workers are given more flexibility to work from home until US offices eventually reopen.

The Verge obtained Microsoft's internal guidance, outlining work from home plans for the company's future.

How Does it Work?

Employees can take less than 50% of their work week at a work from home basis. Managers are also allowed to approve permanent remote work arrangements, noted CNET.

If employees choose this option, they will have to give up their assigned office space but can work in certain areas of the office if they ever want to come in and work on-site.

Microsoft Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan recognized that the pandemic gave rise to the ways people work. In a statement, she said the company is offering all means possible to support all of their employees' work styles "while balancing business needs, and ensuring we live our culture."

Who Can Do Remote Work?

Microsoft highlighted that some roles may not work well with the remote arrangements. These employees will still need access to the company's officers to properly do their tasks.

Workers who need to access hardware labs, data centers and in-person trainings will have to come into the company's offices.  Employees can also ask for approval to work from home or even move internationally if their roles can remain viable with the setup.

While Employees will be allowed to move across the country to do remote work, pay and benefits will change based on the company's geopay scale.

Microsoft is willing to cover home office expenses of workers who work from home permanently. But those who decide to move away from Microsoft's offices will have to cover their own relocation costs.

Flexible work hours will also be available, without need for manager approval. Employees can also request for part-time work hours through the management.

At the earliest, Microsoft's US offices will reopen by January 2021, prompting the new work arrangements.

A Permanent Shift

Shifting employees to remote work is also something done by other tech companies like Microsoft.

Facebook is also shifting tens of thousands of jobs to remote setups. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also believes the company will have up to half of its workforce remotely in the next five to 10 years.

According to Stanford University economics professor Nicholas Bloom, the US workforce has moved to 42% remote work in May. It was a big shift, even considering its decrease to about 35% in August.

Employers found that shifting to a work from home arrangement with their employees was productive at first. But months have passed by and it's starting to show some drawbacks, as noted in a BBC report.

Some employees feel like the line between work and home life is being blurred.

For Bloom, the best policies combine both home and office work time.

"The radical extremes - so, full-time in the office or full-time at home - are not ideal for most people," he said. He said the office time is needed to build company culture, attend meetings and basic mental health.

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