According to the BBC, Vole was handing over the cash as a symbol of appreciation "during a uniquely challenging year…. We are proud to recognise our employees with a one-time monetary gift".
In the first quarter of 2021 Microsoft's profits rose 38 percent on the same period last year. employees below the vice-president level who joined no later than 31 March 2021 would receive the payment, including part-time workers.
The big tech firms have done well during the pandemic and Microsoft is not the only firm to have made bonus payments to staff. In March 2020, Facebook gave employees a $1,000 bonus to help them with increased expenses caused by the pandemic, such as those associated with setting up a home office. Google made a similar $1,000 payment in May 2020. In December, Amazon gave front-line employees a $300 dollar bonus with part-time workers receiving $150.