Microsoft has adopted a hybrid model that allows a mix of working in the office and working remotely, Michael Ford, the company’s Vice President & Partner Global Real Estate, said during a session this week at the CoreNet Global North America Virtual Summit .

“We’ve always had employees working remotely at Microsoft,” he said, noting that developing a model that suits employees and offers flexibility had benign process prior to the pandemic.  “The majority of employees want to come to work place at least three days or more.”

Today that model includes several measures that are a response to the pandemic:

  • Six feet distancing is part of the design playbook. 
  • More unassigned seating, for employees that work from home, but need a place to work during days in the office  
  • MyHub, a web interface allows employees to identify when a work station is clean. Employees check in and check out their workplace. 
  • Touchless technologies cafes, lobbies, common areas and meeting rooms. 
  • Seemless technologies, so that whether a person is in a conference room or remote, the interaction is identical

“We have to be grounded in the data and the research,” Ford said, “let our insights drive our actions.”

And he said that all companies should have a crisis management team that includes human resources, finance, real estate and other departments to continue to train and be ready for what’s next. 

“Something is going to happen and we have to be ready for that,” he said.