Google’s recent layoffs, which affected 12,000 employees or 6% of the company’s global workforce, have sparked concerns among those who were let go. Many employees have reported being locked out of the office on the day of the layoffs, with security guards strictly enforcing badge scanning procedures. One former employee, who requested anonymity, recounted witnessing a colleague’s badge being denied access to the Chelsea, New York office, leading to confusion and an eventual escort out of the building by a security guard. Another former employee, Zac Bowling, who worked at Google for nearly eight years before being laid off, noted that the strict badge scanning procedures were unusual and had never been enforced in the past.
A Google spokesperson denied that the badge scanning procedures were any different on the day of the layoffs, stating that all New York employees are required to tap their badges at the entrance to enter facilities. However, former employees have reported an increased presence of security guards and being ordered to scan their badges at the reception on the second floor, rather than quickly showing them to guards in front of the elevator as was previously the norm.
The layoffs have also caused shockwaves throughout the company, with employees requesting “psychological safety” at work and asking management to reduce bonuses and pay raises during a tense all-hands meeting. Many laid-off employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the way the layoffs were communicated, with one software engineer describing it as a “slap in the face” and another saying she couldn’t “control her shaky hands” upon learning of her termination. While Google is still hiring, laid-off employees must apply externally like any other candidate, which has led some to question whether they will even apply after the “inhuman” way the layoffs were handled.
This round of layoffs at Google is part of a larger trend among big tech companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, who have also announced layoffs of thousands of employees in the past month. As of now, more than 55,3000 employees have been impacted by layoffs in 2023, according to tracking site Layoffs.fyi.
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