Redmond-based Microsoft sent an email to representatives that the organization will adapt a hybrid model that will consider greater adaptability to work from home.
The hybrid model will permit a few representatives to work from home permanently, others will have the option to migrate and some will re-visitation of Microsoft worksites.
“Our goal is to evolve the way we work over time with intention—guided by employee input, data, and our commitment to support individual workstyles and business needs while living our culture,” said Microsoft in a statement.
Yet, updates on this hybrid model was not the news Redmond restaurants and shops around the once-bustling campus wanted to hear.
“The streets are empty. It’s very quiet. It’s like a ghost town,” said Terrence Em, proprietor of SHABURINA, a hotpot restaurant in walking distance from the Microsoft campus.
Businesses in the region are now battling due to the Covid pandemic. Em said most of the restaurant’s lunch traffic is comprised of Microsoft workers.
“If they’re staying at home, that’s going to devastate us,” said Em. “Not just for us, but the hotels and restaurants nearby that have a lot of customers come over from Microsoft.”
As per the City of Redmond, 47,000 individuals work on the Microsoft campus. At this moment, the campus is experiencing a change called the Microsoft Redmond Campus Refresh.
The city’s website says the project will include 3 million square feet of office space, 17 new buildings and more restaurants and retail. The project is additionally attached to a Light Rail Expansion project. The city says at the present time, the project is set to push ahead. It is planned for completion in 2025.
It’s unclear the number of representatives from the Redmond campus will return and it’s that vulnerability that makes Em question if his business will survive.
“We need to know a definite answer. You can’t say you’re hopeful that some people might come back, that’s still not 100 percent,” said Em. “We just want to get out of this mess together.”