Microsoft asked many of its employees in the Seattle region near its headquarters and the San Francisco Bay Area to work from home if possible until March 25.

The Microsoft logo is pictured ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 24, 2019.
The Microsoft logo is pictured ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 24, 2019. (Sergio Perez / Reuters)

Microsoft Corp on Wednesday joined the growing number of US companies asking employees to work from home in order to limit exposure to the spreading coronavirus outbreak, as it responded to cases near its Seattle headquarters and in California.

Microsoft asked many of its employees in the Seattle region near its headquarters and the San Francisco Bay Area to work from home if possible until March 25.

“Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite,” Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene told employees in a blog post.

The post said that some employees for whom “it is essential to be in the office or other work environments” - such as data centre and retail employees - should continue to go to their work locations and that the company would follow government guidelines for disinfecting its sites for essential personnel.

Microsoft also asked employees to suspend any business travel to the areas “unless essential for the continuity of Microsoft.”

Microsoft also said employees should cancel non-essential travel to areas with active coronavirus cases - which includes much of Europe, Asia and the Americas - and that employees were not required to travel if they had concerns about doing so.

Source: Reuters