- Microsoft employees would rather work from dedicated workspaces in physical offices with good network connectivity than work from home, CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday at a conference for computer vision researchers.
- Companies should always have the option of allowing remote work, Nadella said, but they shouldn’t replace “one dogma with another.”
- Microsoft is one of the biggest winners from the pandemic-forced shift to remote work. Its Teams work chat app, for example, grew from 44 million to 75 million daily active users in less than two months.
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Microsoft is one of the biggest winners in the shift to remote work during the coronavirus crisis, but the company’s CEO and employees apparently aren’t sold on making it permanent.
Microsoft employees, according to CEO Satya Nadella, have made it clear that they want dedicated workspaces in physical offices with good network connectivity.
“In the Seattle region, where we have sent a lot of people home, we’re realizing people would rather have workspace at work once the COVID-19 crisis goes away,” Nadella said during Tuesday’s CVPR 2020, a conference for computer vision researchers.
While employees may be getting fed up with such a long stretch of Wi-Fi and bandwidth issues at home, Nadella envisions a future of more flexibility. Remote work should always be an option, he said.
“At a core level, we will always want to have this capability of remitting every function inside of our enterprise: whether it’s remote sales, remote operations, remote support — remote work at scale,” Nadella said.”It’s going to be foundational to business continuity and resilience.”
Instead of making the shift to remote work permanent and “replacing one dogma with another,” Nadella painted a picture of a post-COVID-19 crisis world in which companies evaluate the effectiveness of remote work for different roles and business functions, and leave physical space for employees.
As of now, Microsoft has told employees they can work from home until October, unless they’re required to be on-site. The company is still in the middle of a multibillion-dollar headquarters renovation intended to make space for 8,000 additional employees.
While Microsoft faced some challenges during the pandemic, such as capacity issues for its cloud business and supply chain constraints, the shift to remote work has in many ways become a boon for the company. Microsoft beat Wall Street expectations in its most recent quarter and its work chat app Teams grew from 44 million to 75 million daily active users in less than two months. The crisis also forced Microsoft to speed up projects and make decisions more quickly.
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SEE ALSO: 100 days that changed Microsoft: How Satya Nadella led the $1.4 trillion tech giant through the coronavirus pandemic
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