Employees in the tech industry are finding that many of the office perks they once enjoyed are quickly disappearing as companies try to reel in costs amid an economic slowdown. However, these employees should be grateful they are still employed at tech companies like Google in the first place. The tech industry has slashed hundreds of thousands of jobs in the past few months, driving most of the overall firings across all industries. Google alone announced that it would be cutting 12,000 jobs this year.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai informed employees of impending layoffs earlier this year in a memo stating, “Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today. I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission. To fully capture it, we’ll need to make tough choices. So, we’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review.”
The memo also discussed how the company would scale back expensive amenities employees enjoy in the office. The message continued, “Cafes, MicroKitchens and other facilities will be tailored to better match how and when they are being used. Decisions will be based on data. For example, where a cafe is seeing a significantly lower volume of use on certain days, we’ll close it on those days and focus more on popular options nearby. Similarly, we’ll consolidate MicroKitchens in buildings where we’re seeing more waste than value.” The reduction in costs will also hit fitness classes that the company offered to employees.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also announced earlier this year they would be firing 10,000 employees and exploring ways to cut costs. Nadella said, “This is the context in which we as a company must strive to deliver results on an ongoing basis, while investing in our long-term opportunity,” Nadella told employees. “We will align our cost structure with our revenue and where we see customer demand … It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas.” She continued, “In a world facing increasing headwinds, digital technology is the ultimate tailwind. In this environment, we’re focused on helping our customers do more with less, while investing in secular growth areas and managing our cost structure in a disciplined way.”
Employees in the tech industry may have to contend with the work culture they are used to being a figment of the past. Many have deemed the incessant amenities as “low interest rate activities,” where some are suggesting they may never return as companies fight to protect profitability. Furthermore, there is speculation that the model Elon Musk has implemented to run Twitter could be a standard for other big tech companies, where these emphasize productivity and efficiency rather than the employee’s experience.
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