A Microsoft exec said that some staff slept in data centers during the pandemic to avoid getting stuck in roadblocks on the commute home

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
Some Microsoft employees slept in the company's data centers during the pandemic, a manager said.
Kristen Roby Dimlow said these staff were concerned about not being able to travel home.
Another Microsoft executive previously told CNBC that the company provides personnel transportation to data centers.
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Microsoft data center workers sometimes slept on-site during the pandemic, according to an executive at the tech giant.
For some Microsoft technical staff, remote working proved impossible. This included a few employees at locations that host servers for Microsoft's online services, including Microsoft Teams, CNBC reported.
"I've heard amazing stories about people actually sleeping in data centers," said Kristen Roby Dimlow, corporate vice president of total compensation, performance and human resource insights, on Wednesday during an interview with Morgan Stanley analysts, according to CNBC.
"There was a huge lockdown in certain countries, so we let our own employees sleep in the data center because they feared they might get stuck at a roadblock and try to go home," she said.
Read more: Leaked audio shows Microsoft is re-entering physical retailing a year after closing all stores as it quietly reopens its flagship New York City location
When asked by CNBC, Microsoft did not want to say where and how many employees slept in data centers. Microsoft did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
During the pandemic, the company allowed data center employees to work from home whenever they could when they didn't want to come on-site, Noelle Walsh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Cloud Operations and Innovation Group, told CNBC in April.
She said the company provided transportation to and from the sites and let people stay in hotels when they didn't want to use public transportation. In some cases, the company turned to shift work to make sure the centers were adequately staffed, she said.
Microsoft is introducing flexible working that allows most of its 160,000 employees to choose their return schedule. According to this policy, most employees can work remotely for less than half of their week without approval from their manager.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last year that he believes most employees would still want a desk in physical offices rather than permanently working from home, but the company said people will be in the office in the spring of 2021 have returned, spend much less time there than before -Pandemic.
In May, the company released a video showing what it believes the future of hybrid working looks like. This included eye-level cameras installed in meeting room tables so that personal participants can make eye contact with their virtual teammates.
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