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Employees of Microsoft Slept in Data Centers During Pandemic

American multinational company Microsoft employees slept in the software company’s data centers during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Many top technology companies directed their employees to work from home after Covid showed up in the U.S. in 2020, some employees were so important that they had to work on-site.

That was the case for a select few who worked at the locations containing the servers for online services like Microsoft Teams, as well as the public-cloud infrastructure powering third-party customers’ applicationsKristen Roby Dimlow, corporate vice president for total rewards, performance and human resources business insights said that they heard amazing stories about people sleeping in data centers. In various countries, there was a huge lockdown, and so they would have their employees choose to sleep in the data center because they were worried they’d get stuck at a roadblock, trying to go home.

The data centers are not places where people sleep. Aisles can be hot from air coming off of servers, and cold because of air conditioning to prevent machines from overheating. A Microsoft spokesperson would not say where employees slept in data centers or how many did it. The company changed several aspects of work at its data centers because of the pandemic, Noelle Walsh, corporate vice president for the company’s Cloud Operations and Innovation group, said in an interview.

Employees were allowed to work from home if they felt anxious about coming to data centers. If people didn’t want to take the bus, the company provided transportation to and from data centers and even allowed people to stay in hotels.

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