Bonum Certa Men Certa

Companies Faking the True Number of Layoffs With Return-to-Office Mandates and Forced Relocation

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Oct 03, 2023

Manchester Building

THE pressure on employees perfectly capable of doing technical jobs (such as programming) from home isn't newly-covered a theme here. We wrote about it in past years, especially in the "lockdown years".

To many, the open office is a cage where privacy is deliberately infringe and productivity is harmed by many visual distractions, set aside factors like noise and mild social anxiety tied to physical presence of others. Over the past year we've repeatedly noted that companies looking to lay off a lot of staff saw a "return-to-office" policy as some off-putting step by which to cause a mass resignation, in effect flouting severance obligations to staff.

An associate has sent us this new article entitled "Return to Office Is Bullshit And Everyone Knows It", adding some bits about "Forced Relocation":

I quit my job towards the end of last month.

When I started this blog, I told myself, “Don’t talk about work.” Since my employment is in the rear view mirror, I’m going to bend that rule for once. And most likely, only this one time.

Why? Since I wrote a whole series about how to get into tech for as close to $0 as possible without prior experience, I feel that omitting my feelings would be, on some level, dishonest.

Refusing Forced Relocation

The thing about a "Forced Relocation" is, that too was used by large companies to fake the true scale of mass layoffs, in effect telling people with kids in nearly schools (and friends), a spouse at work nearby and usually a decades-long mortgage on some house to move the whole family to another town, give up the home etc.

All this for a job? Many would resign and the company can say something like, "we offered you alternate arrangement/role/employment, thus you left of your own volition."

This topic is not our typically-recurring sort of topic, but it relates to what we said this past summer about Microsoft faking the number of job cuts. Taking contractors, temps, forced resignations, hiring freeze (e.g. retirees whose role isn't filled or people who leave for another job) we estimate that Microsoft cut about 30,000 so far this year, having cut many more jobs last year.

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