Tech Layoffs Spark Discussions about Employee Productivity

The image shows a man talking on the phone with "productivity" written on the wall.
Corporate profits may be the reason for the layoffs, but employee productivity will be the main reason for rehiring.
Source: Andreas Klassen via Unsplash.com

Elon Musk sent an email about employee productivity to employees at Tesla. Currently, layoffs have become the norm in the tech sector. Productivity and experience in advanced technical skills offer a way out. 

But, some observers blame corporate greed for layoffs rather than low employee productivity.

However, most developers, engineers, and tech architects will find new employment. But those jobs will be without the perks that tech employees have come to take for granted.

Moreover, the laid-off Meta and Twitter employees lack public support. According to videos online, the laid-off employees were mostly non-essential workers. 

During the layoffs, some developers also lost their jobs.

Fortunately, skilled employees will easily find jobs in other companies. These employees might even get a pay raise in another job. However, others will need to focus on upskilling to become employable again.

Musk’s Employee Productivity Drive to Remove Corporate Fluff

According to reports, Twitter laid off 3,070 of its 7,500 employees over the last two weeks. It seems Twitter’s new management is laying off employees at random. 

Videos such as One Day in the Life of Twitter Employee have influenced perceptions about tech employees. Therefore, Musk’s new productivity recommendations might also apply to Twitter employees. These recommendations aim to remove “corporate labor fluff,” a term that refers to hiring too many employees. 

The layoffs will save Twitter almost 400 million dollars in salaries. But, it’s unknown if among those who lost their jobs were those who were essential to the core product.

Employee productivity when it comes to new tech development is hard to measure. This is especially the case for companies like Twitter that work almost entirely on legacy code. Even regular functions might cease as only half of the employees remain to look through everything.

A screenshot of Elon Musk's email about employee productivity.
Mr. Musk’s email to Tesla employees shows a clear disdain for corporate fluff.
Source: Skodanz via themindsetapp.com

Lack of Support for Corporate IT Employees

Employees affected by the current economic downturn and the housing crisis of 2008 experienced some public solidarity. 

But, for corporate IT employees, the same support is lacking. In 2008, the recession didn’t affect tech, and it returned to growth in less than a year. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic gave tech companies a growth boost.

However, in both cases, the general workforce struggled.

For tech influencers, this was a time to show off their wealth. In turn, the industry lost some good faith with the public.

Moreover, since tech talent remains in demand, these employees will quickly find employment. 

But, for those without advanced technical skills whom companies overpaid, the current situation is a wake-up call. 

Therefore, companies are justified in demanding productive and skilled employees.

Returning to Basics

It’s important to point out that IT skills remain in demand despite the layoffs and plummeting stock prices. Companies will pay a premium for top talent.

The issue is that companies are getting picky when hiring. Few companies are willing to train their talent in-house. Companies want employees who can deliver quality work quickly.

Additionally, cybersecurity and data science will be in demand in 2023. Among the highly in-demand skills in IT is proficiency in SQL and programming languages like Python, Java, and JS. Startups will drive demand for tech workers. 

Working for startups may bring more benefits than working for tech giants. Plus, employees can work on their dream projects at startups instead of chasing after the paycheck. 

Image of a desktop with a label reading "no bad days" in the background.
For some, layoffs might be a good thing to start working on the basics and get projects they like.
Source: Ryland Dean via Unsplash.com

Talent Wanted, Not Slackers 

Retrospectively, people misunderstood quiet quitting. The point was to work only for the paid hours.

For some, the massive tech layoffs should be a wake-up call. Companies will drop employees who aren’t improving their tech skills.

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