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Microsoft Ireland to allow staff work from home permanently

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Microsoft Ireland moved into a new campus building in 2018 (Stock image)
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Microsoft Ireland moved into a new campus building in 2018 (Stock image)

Microsoft is the latest multinational firm to tell Irish staff that they can work permanently from home from now on.

The tech giant, which employs around 2,000 people at its Sandyford campus, sent an internal memo to staff this week outlining its new policy.

In it, the company says that most staff will be able to work from home up to half of the week. Some staff will be allowed work from home all of the time, if they get approval from managers.

A spokesperson for Microsoft Ireland confirmed the new work-from-home policy.

“We shared guidelines internally this week to provide options for our employees to plan ahead for when we can return to the workplace safely,” the spokesperson said. “Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention, guided by employee input, data, and our commitment to support individual workstyles and business needs while living our culture.”

The new policy is being described internally as a ‘hybrid model’ that emphasises flexibility. It echoes a similar approach gradually taking root among very large companies, particularly those in the tech sector.

Earlier this week, the recruitment company Indeed informed more than 1,000 Irish staff that the majority will be allowed work from home indefinitely, either partly or fully.

With two Dublin-based offices, the company said that it will allow “the vast majority” of its staff to work in either a “hybrid” or “remote” format.

“Employees will be notified of which category their role is in, and will choose how they want to work,” the company said in a statement. “The vast majority of employees will qualify for hybrid work or fully remote, and all of Indeed remains remote until July 2021."

A ‘hybrid’ model entails some time in the office and some at home. Indeed was one of the first major employers in Ireland to send people home due to the Covid outbreak in February.

A survey from DataSolutions this week claimed that a third of Irish office workers would leave their current company if not offered the option to work from home, either part-time or full-time, on a permanent basis.

The DataSolutions survey claims that 37pc of workers say they are being given the option of splitting their week between the office and home in the long run. It also says that this includes 34pc of workers who only recently started working from home as a result of the pandemic.

However, all of the companies offering more remote working so far say that they plan to keep their physical office portfolio in Dublin. Irish-based multinationals also do not allow staff to relocate abroad as part of their home working policies.

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