During the global COVID-19 pandemic last year, Microsoft had a relaxed attitude to how employees worked. In fact, during lockdowns and stay-at-home measures, the company encouraged people to work from home. Even as the pandemic situation has evolved and workplaces open again, Microsoft is accepting the new remote work era.

However, some Microsoft infrastructure requires on premises care. That meant some employees needed to attend their roles and could not work from home. In terms of workers at Microsoft data centers, some slept on the floor on site.

A Microsoft executive says while remote work was widespread through the company, it was not possible for all employees.

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“I heard amazing stories about people actually sleeping in data centers,” Kristen Roby Dimlow, corporate vice president for total rewards, performance, and human resources business insights at Microsoft. CNBC reports she said Microsoft gave employees full choice about what they wanted to do.

“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,” she said.

Microsoft has not said how many staff members stayed and slept on the floors of their data centers.

Remote Work Stance

In May, Microsoft stirred some controversy by tweeting a joke about remote workers. After a year of millions of people being forced to work from home, Microsoft decided to tweet out the following to those remote workers:

“Reminder: build your schedule around meals”.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also said he prefers on-premises work even if he is not against remote work. ultimately prefers employees in the office. While Nadella was not dismissing the need for work at home policies, he says he does not envision working from home to become a long-term trend beyond COVID-19.

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