Microsoft Recommends Washington Employees Work From Home

Now that that coronavirus has officially reached U.S. shores, Microsoft is recommending its King County, Wash., employees work from home.

Critically, this is where the tech titan’s headquarters are located in Redmond.

“Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite,” Microsoft executive vice president Kurt DelBene stated on Wednesday.

In addition, Microsoft is recommending that employees postpone travel to its Puget Sound and Bay Area campuses unless they consider it to be essential, as well as cancel travel to regions where the coronavirus is currently active.



Considering Microsoft’s size, these new restrictions represent one of the tech industry’s most significant responses yet to the coronavirus.  

Currently, Microsoft has more than 150,000 employees, more than one-third operate in the Puget Sound area.

Not the first tech company to take such action, Twitter said it was “strongly encouraging” all of its employees to work from home, earlier this week.

That announcement came before California declared a state of emergency, on Wednesday.

As of Thursday morning, the coronavirus had been reported in 12 counties in California, while 50 people had reportedly fallen ill from the virus.

From travel restrictions to declining sales projections, the impact of the COVID-19 virus continues to be felt throughout the tech industry.

Earlier this week, both Facebook and Twitter decided not to attend SXSW, although the combined tech conference and music festival is still scheduled to be held.

Last week, Facebook also decided to cancel its annual F8 developer conference.

Also last week, reports suggested the coronavirus was interrupting the development of Apple’s next iPhones. Specifically, travel restrictions were apparently preventing Apple’s engineers from going to China to oversee production of the company’s hardware.

Marketers are still trying to make sense of a report just released by GroupM’s Business Intelligence unit, which outlined the potential impact of the coronavirus in vague terms.
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