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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 (opens in new tab), stages 4 and 5 allow some employees to work from the office (opens in new tab), 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.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.