Tech Companies: The Push and Pull of Remote Work

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has announced a summer slim-down for the tech giant. How does he plan to do this? By shedding thousands of workers.

Zuckerberg’s end goal appears to be improved performance via fewer employees. The latest cuts, starting with technical program managers, machine learning engineers, and UX researchers, will affect those working on Facebook, Instagram, Reality Labs, and WhatsApp. The company expects to cut around 10,000 employees and eliminate an additional 5,000 open positions, reversing the workforce explosion since the start of the pandemic. Although not a novel move in the industry, the cold manner of the cutbacks has upset some workers.

Employees who are fully remote and don’t come into the office may be the most at risk of losing their positions.

Many companies in tech, Meta included, have been exploring the idea of shifting away from fully remote work for several months. While the downturn in the market may be a factor, leaders argue that there are important reasons to have teams work in-person. But for those who live out-of-state or are otherwise unable to return to a physical office, what then?

Stories about worker morale plummeting as bosses push employees back into the office, whether full-time or part-time, are becoming increasingly commonplace. Tech firms that once championed remote work but are now backtracking may soon face a furious reckoning from their beleaguered employees.

Although Meta’s layoffs aren’t surprising, they bring up an unsettling question for many remote workers. If companies can cut jobs that quickly, who’s to say they’re not next on the chopping block?

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