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Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Offering Work From Home, Permanently

Photo: Jeenah Moon (Getty Images)

Microsoft is the latest of the tech giants to enshrine working from home as a permanent fixture of its operations.

According to the Verge, which that cited an internal memo, instead of cautiously reopening its US workspaces and crossing its fingers that employees—or their loved ones—don’t end up with covid-19 as a result, Microsoft will shift to a “hybrid workspace.”

What that “hybrid” space actually looks like will mean different things to different employees. Every one of them will get the option to work remotely “for less than 50%” of their workweek, permanently. With supervisor approval, whoever, Microsoft will be granting some workers permanent remote status.

While Microsoft’s not the first major tech player to let its employees turn their homes into their forever-offices—Twitter first gave its employees that option back in mid-May—it’s still an idea that some tech CEO’s

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Software giant Microsoft will let employees work from home permanently if they choose to, US media reported on Friday, becoming the latest employer to expand work-from-home provisions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

US tech news website The Verge said most Microsoft employees are still at home as the health crisis drags on, and the company doesn’t expect to reopen its US offices until January of next year at the earliest.

But when it does, workers can chose to work from home permanently with their manager’s approval, although they will have to give up their office space.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to think, live and work in new ways,” human resources head Kathleen Hogan said in a note to employees obtained by The Verge.

“We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while balancing business needs and ensuring we live our culture.”

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Even when stay-at-home measures for the coronavirus pandemic are lifted, Microsoft employees won’t be required to come back to the office.

According to an internal Microsoft memo obtained by The Verge, Microsoft employees will be allowed to work from home for less than half of their work week. Pending manager approval, some employees will be allowed to work from home full time.

Given the nature of Microsoft’s business as a software and hardware creator, some employees with roles that require a physical presence won’t be able to take advantage of the new “hybrid workplace” policy, according to the report. Employees involved in hardware research and development, for instance, or employees involved with in-person training, won’t be able to do that work remotely.

For others, whose work can be done entirely remote, there are options to relocate — even internationally — if approved. The Verge reported that “most” of Microsoft’s 150,000

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Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Monica Nickelsburg)

Microsoft has released new “hybrid workplace” guidance that lays out how employees can have a more flexible remote work schedule and even relocate elsewhere in the country as the tech giant continues to adjust to changing needs during the ongoing pandemic.

The Verge first reported on the internal messaging Friday, saying that Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft will allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50 percent of their working week, and managers will be able to approve permanent remote work.

RELATED: Death of the HQ? Pandemic hits commercial real estate, but long-term trends still open to debate

Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, said in a note to employees that the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone to “think, live, and work in new ways.”

“We will offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles, while

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tmobile drones

Earlier this month, AT&T made its plans know that it would no longer be accepting new DSL service connections, which is the only way that many rural Americans can access broadband internet – that is if you really want to classify AT&T’s 6Mbps DSL as broadband. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1,” said AT&T in a statement last week.

“Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”

Given that fiber access in rural parts of the country as rare as hen’s teeth, we know how this is going to turn out for customers: badly. Never one to miss an opportunity to punch a competitor when the opportunity presents, T-Mobile has announced that it will offer its 4G LTE Home

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Microsoft will let its employees work from home permanently, even once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

In an internal memo seen by The Verge that highlights the company’s plans to create a “hybrid workplace”, Microsoft said it will allow employees to work from home freely for less than 50% of their working week, but has said that managers will be able to approve permanent remote work if staff request it. Part-time working hours will also be available for employees with approval from their manager. 

Currently, the cast majority of the company’s employees are working from home, and Microsoft previously said they would not reopen office until at least January 2021. 

For those whose work can be done entirely remote, there are options to relocate

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Mobile games are thriving as players turn to them for fun and friendship during the pandemic, with increasing numbers of women joining the trend.

“Being stuck at home has not stopped people from playing games on their phones,” said SensorTower mobile insights strategist Craig Chapple. “To the contrary, mobile gaming is more popular than ever.”

Smartphone game play involves taps on touchscreens with just a few moments of play at a time, often while sipping coffee or waiting for transit, in contrast to the console games with immersive worlds that can span hours.

Mobile games appeal to a broader demographic than do shooters and other genres popular on console or PC gamers.

More than 40 percent of mobile gamers are women, according to research firms Newzoo and Statista. That differs from gamers using consoles or personal computers, who are more likely to be males age 12 to 35 years old,

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T-Mobile is bringing its LTE home internet service to more people.


Angela Lang/CNET

T-Mobile has announced an expansion of its Home Internet pilot to 450 more areas, which it says covers 20 million households. The service uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, and was launched as an invite-only pilot in rural areas in March last year, with the carrier saying it’s now opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile’s home internet service is $50 per month, with a $0 hardware lease and no data caps.  

“We’re understanding this massive expansion … at a time when our connection to the Internet is so vital — for work, remote school, connection with family and friends,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

You can see a list of the new cities

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No contract, $50 per month high-speed Internet access is rolling out to vast swaths of the country, including rural America, for both T-Mobile and non-T-Mobile customers alike

What’s the news: T-Mobile is throwing a lifeline to many communities being abandoned by AT&T. It’s expanding its $50 / month, no two-year contract Home Internet service into more than 450 cities and towns that AT&T is deserting. The Un-carrier is also opening the service to non-T-Mobile customers in these new areas.

Why it matters: Many parts of the country have extremely limited, slow Internet options and the pandemic has increased our reliance on Internet connectivity. AT&T dropping DSL service in those communities makes an already difficult situation that much worse.

Who it’s for: 20 million households in thousands of locations that are sick-and-tired of their Internet access provider jerking them around.

What AT&T takes away, T-Mobile brings back. Following news that AT&T

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Sacha Baron Cohen wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Sacha Baron Cohen attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic


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Sacha Baron Cohen attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

  • Actor Sacha Baron Cohen wrote an op-ed for Time condemning social media platforms for allowing misinformation to spread, and he singled out Facebook in particular.
  • The “Borat” actor, who has come out hard against Facebook before, said the company is a “dutiful ally” to President Donald Trump and attacked the firm for its failure to fact-check misleading political ads and posts.
  • Cohen wrote how the “trifecta” of President Trump, Facebook, and the spread of misinformation has created “a whirlwind of conspiratorial madness” leading up to the 2020 election that could “kill democracy as we know it.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen in an op-ed for Time Magazine called for an end to the proliferation of conspiracy theories on social

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