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Microsoft delays planned return to offices by a further six months

(Image credit: Image Credit: StockStudio / Shutterstock)

With the Covid-19 pandemic still causing disruptions worldwide, Microsoft has decided to extend the deadline for its return to US offices by another six months.

In July, the company said it would aim to reopen its offices before January 2021. However, as the date has drawn closer, the company has been forced to push the planned return until July 2021.

Announcing the news in an internal email, Microsoft's Senior Leadership Team explained that July 6 2021 will be the new earliest possible date on which employees can return to the office in the US.

This date may differ in other regions, however, depending on how the pandemic unfolds.

"Returning to the worksite remains optional until we get to Stage 6. This stage represents a time when Covid-19 is no longer a significant burden on a country/region and most health and safety restrictions at our worksites are removed," said Microsoft executive Kurt Delbene.

As noted by ZDNet, stages 4 and 5 allow some employees to work from the office, if they abide by occupancy limits and health and safety requirements. Stage 3, in which the majority of the US remains at the moment, allows only people with disabilities to work from the office.

Microsoft joins fellow tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Google, each of which has confirmed employees will not return to offices before summer 2021.