Looming Layoffs

The warnings of pending layoffs (particularly in the tech sector) have been in the news lately. A lot of big name companies have, or are planning to cut costs by letting employees go.

Amazon has said it would be looking to lay off 18,000 people; Meta (Facebook’s parent company) is looking to reduce its workforce by 13% (around 11,000 people).

A lot of this seems to have stemmed from over-hiring, during the pandemic. A lot of companies took on more employees, as people shifted to the notion of remote work more. With a looming recession, it seems companies are now tightening their belts and cutting costs through reducing headcount.

So far at Grubhub, there are no plans for layoffs. This has been a common question in several large tech meetings, for some time now. While this is always reassuring to hear, it’s never a thing that gets entirely taken off the table.

I’m still currently 100% remote, though I’m not sure if that’s going to be changing soon. Folks have been asked to return to the office 3 days a week, working remote 2 days a week.

As much as I do very much like my coworkers, I don’t have a strong desire to return to commuting downtown. While it hasn’t been an issue yet (I haven’t been explicitly ordered to start returning to the office), I suspect it will come up before the month is out.

I always thought there would be this game of chicken happening, after the pandemic moved a lot of knowledge workers to a remote lifestyle. The inevitable “return to office” would happen, with upper management wanting folks to come back… while workers would want to remain at home, working remotely.

When there was a surplus of job openings and talent was harder to find, I wasn’t as concerned about my fully remote status. With layoffs happening a lot, specifically in my industry, I feel like making noise about remote vs hybrid is a politically fraught thing to do.

I like working remotely, and feel that I do as much (if not more) as a remote worker than I do physically in the office. Just how important is it to me? Is it worth fighting for, is it worth my job? Is it worth it during a season of layoffs?

I don’t really want to ask these questions, but it feels like I’m forced to now.

[CC photo via Pawel Chu]

A Last Visit to Liz’s Office
Goodbye, Emmis Interactive

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