Tech can’t quit remote work: Microsoft edition

Not only is Microsoft making the remote work plunge… it’s rolling out tech to make it more seamless.


October 14, 2020

Last week, Microsoft rolled out a hybrid remote work policy, meaning a large portion of its 150k employees may be able to WFH in perpetuity.

Microsoft is the latest in a long line of WFH warriors

Other leading companies that have extended their remote work policies in the face of COVID-19 include Indeed, Google, American Express, Airbnb, and Twitter.

Chris Herd — the CEO of remote work startup Firstbase HQ — interviewed ~1k firms over the past 6 months on their WFH plans. The results are eye-opening:

  • ~30% said they plan to cut commercial offices completely
  • Cost savings are significant ($20k/employee in the office vs. $2k/employee WFH)

Microsoft is drawing product inspiration from the new reality…

… and has taken some big swings on remote features for Teams and Outlook:

  • An integration with Headspace for mental health
  • Protect Time allows you to block off time for deep work
  • A dashboard that managers can use to see which employees may be at risk of burnout

Finally — as a microcosm for how insane 2020 is — Microsoft is rolling out a virtual solution for what could literally kill you in Before Times: commuting.

Microsoft’s “virtual commute” feature is meant to create work-life boundaries the same way that physical commutes used to. #2020

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