Microsoft encourages employees to work from home as Coronavirus worries continue

Jonny Caldwell

Microsoft is allowing its employees based in Seattle or San Francisco to work remotely from home. The company has updated its guidelines following an outbreak in its home state, which totals more than 21 confirmed cases and as many as eight deaths.

Per the updated guidelines, any employee is allowed to work from home though March 9. Additionally, Microsoft also encourages working from home for those that those who feel unwell, have a compromised immune system, or anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the deceased caused by the strand of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

As per The Verge, Microsoft also says roughly half of its “multiple sites” in mainland China are open with ongoing temperature screenings. While working from home is optional in the country, a large chunk of employees are choosing to do so according to Kurt DelBene, the company’s head of corporate strategy.

In Microsoft’s South Korean offices, the company is requiring employees to work from home, and the tech giant is recommending those in Singapore to do the same. The company is also asking those from Italy and some other European offices to work from home, as well.

Despite the growing concerns, Microsoft is still evaluating plans for its annual Build conference in May, and has already cancelled its MVP Summit. The company is also giving away 6-month trials for Teams to businesses to make it easier for other employees to work from home, as well.