After a few postponements, Microsoft is ready to fully reopen its Washington state facilities starting February 28. Microsoft is giving employees 30 days starting on that date to "make adjustments to their routines and adopt the working preferences they've agreed upon with their managers," said Chris Capossela, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in a blog post dated February 14. The Washington facilities will be open to employees, visitors, and guests as of the 28th.
In early March 2020, Microsoft began setting policies around which employees could and should work from home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In September 2020, Microsoft announced its updated work-from-home policy, via which most of its employees are authorized to work from home part-time -- meaning less than 50 percent of the time.
As was true for many companies, Microsoft continued to update its target return-to-work dates as the pandemic demographics continued to shift. Last fall, officials decided against setting a new public return-to-the-office target date. Capossela cited high local vaccination rates, coupled with lower levels of hospitalization and higher availability of testing as all playing a role in the reopening date determination.
Outside of Washington state, Microsoft's Bay Area sites in California, including Microsoft's new Silicon Valley Campus, also will fully open on Feb. 28, and "we anticipate many of our other U.S. locations will follow suit as conditions allow," Capossela said.