The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Lock-outs, mass emails, closed offices: Virtual layoffs are normal now

By Taylor Telford

11 Apr 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

The trend of announcing layoffs virtually is on the rise and is becoming a new normal. The Washington Post explores the impact it can have on the psyche of the laid-off employees.

When an employee with Amazon's gaming unit tried to sign in for work last Tuesday, she found her access to most internal systems had been revoked. Her calendar had been cleared, except for a 15-minute meeting labeled "Organizational Update."

During the meeting, a manager read from a corporate script as he explained her position had been eliminated. The conversation felt impersonal after the years she'd spent with the company.

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