‘Like a kid whose parents are withholding critical information’: How workers feel about virtual layoffs

‘Like a kid whose parents are withholding critical information’: How workers feel about virtual layoffs

When Sunny Dreyer got a text from her boss in late March to jump into quick Zoom call, she had a sinking feeling she knew what was coming.

The 32-year-old L.A. resident had just heard news that Bird, the e-scooter company, laid off hundreds of employees in an effort to save the business as the pandemic left the world, and consumer spending, at a standstill. The delivery method of choice? A two-minute Zoom video.

As a sales associate for Casper, Dreyer had been working remotely since the March 15 closures of the mattress company’s brick-and-mortar locations. Dreyer had also just wrapped her tenure at one store and was supposed to be part of a team opening a new location. For about two weeks, she was directed to instead spend her workdays reading about the company, listening to interviews with the founders and watching documentaries about the science of sleep — activities she would keep track of and email to her supervisor to monitor.

By March 30, Dreyer had a feeling it was coming to an end.

‘I feel like a kid whose parents are withholding critical information’

In a first Zoom call, Dreyer was joined by a handful of other senior-level store associates, and their supervisor informed them of Casper’s decision to furlough all 500 retail employees at 62 brick-and-mortar locations. In a follow-up call, the store supervisor delivered the news to the remaining 20 or so new-store employees.

“She wanted to tell us first before corporate sent out a mass email about the news, which I appreciated,” Dreyer tells CNBC Make It. That didn’t make it any less tense, Dreyer notes, especially among the junior sales associates who had just been hired by the company for the new store launch.

Many of her new colleagues, at least the ones who had their sound and video on, were visibly upset and crying.

Source: CNBC

Submit a Comment