The recent pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work, with more and more companies shifting to remote and hybrid work environments.
While this has allowed for more flexibility and convenience for employees, it has also presented new challenges, particularly when it comes to layoffs and downsizing.
One of the most difficult aspects of losing a job in today’s remote work environment is the fact that many employees are receiving the news via Zoom calls.
Whether it’s a large group call or a one-on-one situation, the emotional impact of hearing “You’re being let go” or “Your job no longer exists” through a video call on a personal device can be incredibly difficult.
Many people have taken to LinkedIn to share their experiences of receiving job loss news through Zoom calls, and the sentiment is overwhelmingly one of disappointment, frustration, and upset.
One employee shared, “I received the news of my job loss through a Zoom call and it was one of the most dehumanizing experiences of my life. It felt like I was being dismissed without a second thought.”
Another said, “Hearing that I was being let go via Zoom call was a huge blow. I felt like I wasn’t even worth the effort of a face-to-face conversation.”
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The anonymity and impersonal nature of Zoom calls can make it harder for employees to process the news and can leave them feeling isolated and disconnected from their colleagues.
Additionally, the lack of physical cues and body language can make it difficult to gauge the sincerity or empathy of the person delivering the news.
It’s important for companies to recognize the emotional toll that job loss can take on employees, especially in today’s remote work environment.
While downsizing may be necessary, companies can make the process less traumatic by providing emotional support, clear and transparent communication, and opportunities for employees to ask questions and express their concerns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed the way companies handle layoffs and downsizing.
The shift to remote and hybrid work environments has made it harder for employees to process job loss news and can leave them feeling isolated and disconnected from their colleagues.
It’s important for companies to recognize the emotional toll that job loss can take on employees and to provide emotional support, clear and transparent communication, and opportunities for employees to ask questions and express their concerns.
Tanya Biyani, a product management analyst based in Dallas, Texas, recently shared a compelling post on LinkedIn about her experience of being laid off via a Zoom call.
Last Wednesday, she hopped on a Zoom call for a regular 1:1 sync with her manager, only to find her managing director waiting on the call as well. She immediately knew that this was not their normal feedback session.
In her post, Biyani wrote that she felt “shock, sadness and confusion.” She shared that she had just heard about some coworkers at Goldman Sachs being laid off and wondered if her Zoom call could be related to the layoffs.
She said that “in the next few minutes (what felt like eternity), I gathered words like ‘headcount’ and ‘severance’ and ‘being let go.’” She felt “shock, sadness and confusion. All I could think about was how I had a job — and now I didn’t.”
She also shared on LinkedIn that “It is crazy how fast things can change. You watch the news about the market and mass layoff fears looming within the industry, but you never really think that it’s going to be you. You aren’t taught how to navigate your emotions or the future or even the process of leaving. You just learn through experience.”
In a phone interview with Fox News Digital, Biyani said that she has talked to a lot of other people who have also been laid off and recognizes that many people are in very tough financial straits right now, without their jobs.
She said “It’s a learning opportunity for me,” and she’s open to new challenges.
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How It Is To Be Fired in Online Calls
As more and more companies shift to remote work setups, crucial conversations such as job offers, HR updates, and disciplinary actions are increasingly happening over Zoom or in a virtual space.
According to Jorgensen, a business consultant, this shift has forced disciplinary action to also occur via Zoom.
Jorgensen distinguishes between Zoom firings in group settings and dismissals via Zoom that are one-on-one. She explains that for fully remote employees, layoffs or firings must take place on Zoom or similar platforms.
However, she also emphasizes the importance of one-on-one communication around this topic and managers should have difficult conversations via a video call.
Employees can tell themselves that a company’s decision to fire someone over Zoom is a reflection of the company, not the employee. Morin, a HR consultant, advises employees to focus on their own actions and performance rather than the method of the dismissal.
Jorgensen also stresses the importance of transparency from the employer. When employees know any challenges the company is facing, they need to be realistic about what could happen to their job role.
Ideally, the employer should be transparent about the state of business and any potential changes that may affect the employees’ positions.