back to article Microsoft prepares for its staff to return to Washington sites

Microsoft is preparing to reopen its Washington state worksites at the end of this month. The news came from chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, perhaps best known for the infamous Blue Screen On Stage incident of the late 1990s rather than the purple hue of Microsoft's final stage of workplace reopening. In Microsoft's …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Remember to keep the Windows open"

    Today's 10 day weather forecast for Washington State suggests temperatures below 10oC throughout. So keep the windows open?

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

      That explains why my computer keeps freezing up. =-)p

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

      the state of Washington is also one of the RAINIEST in the continental USA.

      (I'd re-think keeping windows open)

      What they may discover instead is that working from home in the world of I.T. and software development IS USUALLY MORE EFFICIENT except for those who either lack the proper equipment and/or internet speed, or who get lazy and unproductive if they do not have "a boss" breathing down their necks.

      This "experiment" (back in an office you salt miners you) should put the nail in the "must be in an office" argument one way or another.

      1. TomPhan

        Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

        Although we have multiple rainforests, WA isn't even in the top 10 for the rainiest states. Overcast much of the time, but usually that doesn't convert to rain.

        1. Robert Helpmann??

          Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

          WA isn't even in the top 10 for the rainiest states.

          The eastern half of the state doesn't get much precipitation because of a few annoying hills blocking clouds getting there, so on average Washington state is not the rainiest, but where most of the people are (along the coast) there's plenty of the wet stuff to be... enjoyed.

          1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

            You call that wet?

            Why, back in MY day it would rain 256 hours a day, 789 days a week, 1Million days a month, 364 months a year! We had to swim uphill in the rain, both ways, and that's the way we LIKED it Dagnabit!

            *Shakes a fossilized pseudofin*

            Danged whippersnappers anyer newfangled climate change... Get offn muh LAN!


      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: What they may discover instead

        Well, discovering is one thing.

        Accepting the results is a whole 'nother ball game.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Remember to keep the Windows open"

        So why is it is more efficient?

        Is it because you are now working the hours you would have spent commuting? Those are hours I’d spend listening to podcasts or music, instead of working extra hours for free.

        Otherwise, if it is all the same in terms of the work setup itself (screen, monitor, laptop, desk, chair, internet, headset), why does the walls of your home bring in efficiency?

        If you are being “distracted” by colleagues in your team, then they cannot be agreeing with your personal appraisal that your team contribution is the same or better when you are at home.

        In my case some wfh are unproductive super busy. Lots of the same hours, if not more, but output reflective of being highly distracted by their home environments (children, pets, partners, deliveries, “short” errands), context switching frequently.They’re swapping work distractions for home distractions, except that work distractions help the company overall, who are the ones paying for the time.

        I’m all for wfh if your *team* appraises your performance is the same or better, not a self certified “I’m better now”.

        If you are in a team of 1, great. That is a minority and likely means you are at the experienced end of the workforce and at a skew of the average workforce mix of different experiences. And “common” rule should work for a team with a graduate and an someone ready to retire.

  2. Peter D

    The absolute horror

    Employees might have to go to work. Shockwaves spread throughout the technology sector today when a leading employer suggested people it pays should turn up for work. Amnesty International would have issued a statement condemning the move but there was no one available in their Indignant Directorate to issue a statement due to staff shortages. However, Russell Wilson of the Information and Technology Workers Union called from his seafront retreat in the Bahamas to reject out of hand all forms of modern day slavery in the industry.

  3. Willie T

    The New Normal

    With a few exceptions, I don't think business will ever be back to 2019 "normal". Although working from home was getting to be more and more acceptable before COVID, this has really opened up a lot of eyes on the topic. Also, I will say what others have said: If you have an employee who is slacking off at home, probably they were slacking off in the office too. Easier to measure quantity & quality of work rather than how much time you spend sitting in a cubicle (or spare bedroom).

    As for me, my work for 8 years before COVID consisted of traveling nearly every week of the year to a customer site Sunday evening and flying back home Thursday evening. It was considered impossible to do my job without sitting next to the customer in a conference room. Now, 2 years later, we are not even planning to include travel budgets in new contracts, unless the customer absolutely insists on it. Most are happy to save the $ now that they see we can accomplish the same work for less expense.

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