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Google engineer says workers cried at meetings as the company laid off 12,000 employees

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Last week, Google announced that it is laying off 6% of its workforce. With that, Google also became a part of massive ongoing tech layoffs which has resulted in thousands of people losing their jobs. Earlier this month, Microsoft laid off 10,000, and Amazon eliminated 18,000 employees. There are reports of Spotify’s plans to eliminate workers as well.

On January 20, news broke out of Google eliminating 12,000 workers and added that these workers would get severance packages, six months of healthcare, and more. Nevertheless, the devastating news has been a lot for individuals to handle.

According to Business Insider, a Google Engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, shared insights on the effects of the downsizing on the existing workforce. The engineer mentioned the survivors of the layoffs cried during meetings when the news of the layoffs was announced.

The East Coast engineer said that in video calls that day “some of the folks were sobbing," and "they were drying their eyes.” The engineer added that the typical interactions at the office between the existing staff had now changed saying "It's not the typical nonverbal interaction there used to be before. Now it's a meaningful nod."

A second engineer from the West Coast mentioned that the staff was “angry and sad” after the news. The currently-employed individual noted that the decision removed the sense of belonging among workers. He added:

“We truly did believe that Google was something different. This is just another big company. Now, anything that used to feel special or like you really were a part of a mission — not just a big money-making machine — that feeling is I think gone."

The two engineers mentioned that the existing staff members fear further cuts. The East Coast engineer also said that some employees stayed a part of the company due to job perks which were also stripped down over time, and now, with the layoffs, “employment didn't feel as secure anymore.”

The engineers pointed out that some of the laid-off staff learned about their elimination from their colleagues, as they experienced “cannot connect” messages on Google’s internal communication channels since the ex-employees were cut off from them on the 20th. The West Coast engineer also noted that the existing staff was not informed about who was laid off.

Among the laid-off staff was Nicholas Whitaker who was part of the company’s people development team. Whitaker got to know about the news from his colleagues who were asking about his well-being, which made him think there had been a natural disaster or a shooting.

The eliminated staff reported that they are offering to help each other; Whitaker is providing meditation and mindfulness sessions free of charge to fellow workers.

Source: Business Insider

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