Coronavirus: Microsoft asks employees to work from home

Nine of the 11 US deaths related to Covid-19 occurred at King County where the tech firm operates

Coronavirus: Microsoft asks employees to work from home

Microsoft is encouraging employees who can perform their tasks from home to work remotely until 25 March as the threat of contagion from the novel coronavirus Covid-19 continues.

The software giant is the latest Big Tech company to urge staff members to consider the option of virtual work. Twitter earlier asked 5,000 employees to do the same.

READ MORE: Twitter urges global employees to work from home

Kurt DelBene, executive vice president of Microsoft, sent the advisory to employees based in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area after local officials advised businesses to operate remotely.

“Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite,” DelBene said.

“If in your role it is essential to be in the office or other work environments (e.g., data center, retail, etc.), plan to continue to go to your location.”

READ MORE: Apple sends care packages to quarantined employees

“We will continue to implement the CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitising the locations,” he said. “If you are not sure whether you are in a role that requires you to be onsite, you should speak to your manager.”

Microsoft advised against “prolonged interactions” among employees who will continue to work in-office and in other corporate premises.

The company is also urging staff to postpone travel to its campuses “unless essential for the continuity of Microsoft”.

In the US, a total of 11 deaths in connection with the coronavirus have so far been recorded. Nine of which occurred in King County, which is home to the tech firm.

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