Microsoft Gives Staff $1,500 Coronavirus Bonus

Microsoft is rewarding its staff for all their hard work during the global Coronavirus pandemic, with nice addition to their pay packets.

Microsoft had already given its staff extra vacation days earlier this year, but now CNBC reported that it will give out $1,500 bonuses to many of its employees.

Microsoft is not alone here in rewarding its staff during the pandemic. BT for example in March this year gave 60,000 frontline staff a special bonus of £1,500, in recognition of their work during the coronavirus pandemic keeping the UK’s communication channels working.

Staff bonus

According to the CNBC report, Microsoft however will spend around $200 million on bonuses it will disburse to many employees in America and abroad.

The gesture is part of an effort by tech giants to keep staff happy during the pandemic and make sure they stick around while many are still away from offices.

There is also corporate concern about a trend called the Great Resignation, where workers and staff reconsider their work-life balance priorities as offices reopen.

Many people have signalled their reluctance to undertaking long commutes into work, and are choosing jobs that are either closer to home or allow for remote working.

Microsoft told CNBC that the staff bonus is a gesture to show appreciation for efforts that employees made with customers and partners in the past year.

There were reports for example that many Microsoft engineers slept at their data centres, in order to keep Azure cloud services working during the pandemic.

At the end of the first quarter Redmond had over $125 billion in cash, equivalents and short-term investments, so the software giant has plenty of ready available funding to finance the move.

Microsoft last month became only the third company in the world (after Saudi Aramco and then Apple) to be valued at $2 trillion (£1.43 trillion).

Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, reportedly announced the news about bonuses in a message to staff on Thursday.

Staff appreciation

The bonuses will go out in July or August to employees in the US and abroad, although Microsoft’s corporate vice presidents won’t receive them, nor will employees of Microsoft’s GitHub, LinkedIn and Zenimax subsidiaries, the spokesperson told CNBC.

The report points out other ways that tech firms have shown appreciation to their staff in the Covid pandemic.

Some companies have reportedly supplied their staff with credits for food-delivery apps such as Uber Eats to help pay for meals.

Other companies have reportedly distributed care packages or offered additional time off.

Microsoft reportedly granted workers five extra paid vacation days earlier this year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported, to help ease stress.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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