Offer As Much Flexibility As Possible

Offer as much flexibility as possible sums up the new Microsoft employee guidelines for working from home and we can all learn from their example. With everyone around the world working from home for the last few months, embracing the flexible workplace just sounds logical. At Microsoft they have taken this to a new level by providing clarity in guidelines

Offer As Much Flexibility As Possible

The guide from Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan, starts by explaining how empathetic she is about the emotional toil that come from the new demands of everybody working at home and often needing to contribute to home schooling at the same time.

Working from home is mostly a supported choice and returning to the office is optional for employees (except for those essential onsite roles).

It goes on to state that Microsoft plans to “offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual work styles while balancing business needs and ensuring that we live our culture”.

The guidelines go on to address the issues of supporting different working hours with work schedule flexibility – with the guidance meant to facilitate an open conversation between the employee and manager.

While we’ve shared that we will challenge long-held assumptions and seek to be on the forefront of what is possible leveraging technology, we have also communicated that we are not committing to having every employee work from anywhere, as we believe there is value in employees being together in the workplace.

Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft Chief People Officer

There are similar guidance for work location given many people are choosing different locations to live if they no longer need to be in the office, with clarity over the requirements of the role, impact on personal tax, expenses, salary etc.

It is an impressive response demonstrating Microsofts commitment to building a positive company culture. As Justin Bariso from Inc. states..

“By providing each individual with flexibility, i.e., options to fit their circumstances, you provide them with the environment that allows those individuals to become the best version of themselves. And that’s empowering.”

Justin Bariso

Kathleen Hogan demonstrates her emotional intelligence in bringing the need for guidance to managers and staff but also being clear about the broadest goal to treat Microsoft employees as people who want to achieve the greatest levels of success for the company.

Key Takeaways

  • Clarity, simplicity and empathy make these guidelines stand out.
  • Recognising your employees who as individuals are facing significant challenges right now.
  • Individuals are motivated by trust, understanding and clarity of expectations.
Synopsis article based on Inc.
Microsoft's New 6-Word Remote Work Policy Is Brilliant. Here's Why Your Company Should Steal It - Microsoft's new policy is great because it recognizes its employees as individuals. And that's empowering.
by Justin Bariso
Published: 19th October 2020

and from Microsoft
Embracing a flexible workplace
by Kathleen Hogan - Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer
Published: 9th October 2020

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