Permanent work from home could be harmful for workers’ well-being, warns Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of employees across the world were working from home through the first quarter. But now, as the lockdowns across the world are getting some relaxation gradually, employees are being asked to resume their work from company’s offices. Companies are deploying work-from-home policy to keep their business running while at the same time helping employees to follow social distancing guidelines.

Many tech companies like Twitter prefer that their employees work from home permanently. However, in a recent interview New York Times Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has warned that working from home permanently can be damaging as it could have serious consequences for social interaction and mental health for employees.

Nadella stressed on the fact that virtual video calls cannot replace in-person meetings. “What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you’re able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after,” Nadella said.

“What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What does that connectivity and the community building look like? One of the things I feel is, hey, maybe we are burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote. What’s the measure for that?” Nadella said.

Microsoft has now extended its work-from-home policy until at least October. Microsoft’s stock price is up 14 per cent this year and the company has nearly $140 billion in cash.

“We’re going to boldly allocate and acquire, build, innovate, partner, whatever. We are also going to make sure that we have the ability to do credit for small businesses and other organizations that need that help,” Nadella said.

Other major companies like Apple and Google have announced that they can allow their employees to perform remote work until the end of 2020.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO in a Town Hall meeting said, “We don’t envision, at least today, everyone going back at the same time. It may be different teams go back at a different time, it may be people within a team go back at different times.”

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