To escape lockdown, several Microsoft employees slept in data centres throughout the epidemic.

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Some Microsoft employees slept in data centers during pandemic to avoid lockdown

Is it possible to go above and beyond, or is it possible to go too far?

CNBC reached out to Microsoft for further information on where the employees slept and how many of them decided to do so, but came up empty-handed. That’s sad, because it’d be fascinating to learn about the accommodations and remuneration Microsoft offered to these hardworking individuals.

During the Covid-19 outbreak last year, the word “essential worker” entered the general vernacular, but for some Microsoft workers, it took on a far deeper significance.

“I heard amazing stories about people actually sleeping in data centers,” said Kristen Roby Dimlow, corporate vice president for total rewards, performance and human resources business insights at Microsoft.

“In certain countries there was huge lockdown, and so we would have our own employees choose to sleep in the data center because they were worried they’d get stuck at a roadblock, trying to go home,” the executive added.

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During the early days of the internet, Microsoft was one of the first big computer companies to embrace the work-from-home concept. Redmond even went so far as to permanently shutter all of its retail outlets last summer, but has since begun to reverse that decision.

Microsoft announced a hybrid work strategy in March to achieve a balance between safety and productivity, allowing employees who wish to work from home to do so for a little while longer. Those who want to return to on-site employment will be able to do so as long as local government restrictions allow it.


Image credit HJBC, SeventyFour


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