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Microsoft govt says staff slept in knowledge facilities throughout lockdown

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System administrator Alexander Landmann carries a server within the laptop centre of Deutsche Bahn in Berlin on Oct. 22, 2020.

Britta Pedersen | image alliance | Getty Photos

Microsoft staff slept within the software program firm’s knowledge facilities in the course of the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, an govt mentioned on Wednesday.

Whereas many prime expertise corporations directed their staff to work at home after Covid confirmed up within the U.S. in 2020, some staff have been so necessary that they needed to work on website. That was the case for a choose few who labored on the places containing the servers for on-line providers like Microsoft Groups, in addition to public-cloud infrastructure powering third-party clients’ functions.

“I heard superb tales about folks really sleeping in knowledge facilities,” Kristen Roby Dimlow, company vice chairman for complete rewards, efficiency and human sources enterprise insights, mentioned throughout a dialog with Morgan Stanley analysts Josh Baer and Mark Carlucci. “In sure international locations there was big lockdown, and so we’d have our personal staff select to sleep within the knowledge heart as a result of they have been frightened they’d get caught at a roadblock, making an attempt to go house.”

Typically knowledge facilities should not locations the place folks sleep. Aisles will be sizzling from air coming off of servers, and chilly due to air con to stop machines from overheating. A Microsoft spokesperson wouldn’t say the place staff slept in knowledge facilities or what number of did it.

The corporate modified a number of features of labor at its knowledge facilities due to the pandemic, Noelle Walsh, company vice chairman for the corporate’s Cloud Operations and Innovation group, mentioned in an interview with CNBC in April.

Staff have been allowed to work at home in the event that they felt anxious about coming to knowledge facilities, Walsh mentioned. If folks did not wish to take the bus, the corporate offered transportation to and from knowledge facilities and even allowed folks to remain in lodges, she mentioned.

“We needed to in some instances go to shift work, day and evening, to get the work performed inside the similar schedule,” Walsh mentioned.

WATCH: Why knowledge facilities have been the highest actual property sector of 2020

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