Middle Managers, Remote Workers Targeted for Job Cuts by Companies Nationwide

08 Feb, 2024 Chriss Swaney


Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) -- The workplace carnage continues as companies streamline bottom lines by dumping middle managers and remote workers at a rapid pace in 2024, according to research from Live Data Technologies.

In just the past few weeks, Alphabet, Amazon, Citigroup, Ebay, Microsoft, Sports Illustrated, Snapchat, Estee Lauder and Wayfair have  all announced job cuts.  Even United Parcel Service said it plans to cut 12,000 jobs.

“Companies often target middle managers for cuts. They often streamline,” said Karen Litzinger of Litzinger Career Consulting in Pittsburgh, Pa.  “Middle managers are getting squeezed from both sides; angry employees and  impatient executives anxious for more profits,’’ added Litzinger.

At the same time, the current round of layoffs has highlighted the vulnerabilities of remote workers. Some reports have indicated that employers would target remote workers at a time when many companies are trying to bring staff back.

“Being remote makes it easier to let you go,’’ said Litzinger.  “You don’t have that day-to-day interaction. It is easier on a human level to let someone go. It’s easier to utilize that as a rationale for layoffs,’’ said Litzinger.

The growing list of high-profile job cuts is adding a jolt of uncertainty to the white-collar world where fears of a recession and displacement by generative artificial intelligence have become standard water cooler discussion, according to Robert Strauss, a political  economist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.  “The growing crackdown on remote work is also creating anxiety,’’ Strauss added.  

Strauss further explained that some layoffs appear to be connected to the current business climate in which interest rates are high, but widely expected to fall at some point this year.   “And terrible weather in California right now may also impact how companies hire and operate, as supply chains will be impacted by all the flooding,’’ he said.

 “Firms are also repositioning, reorienting and reorganizing for growth,’’ said Litzinger. 

But  the results from Live Data Technologies also found that remote workers are more likely to quit a job, with 12 percent of remote workers leaving their company and finding a job within two months last year. Only 9 percent of hybrid or in-person workers did the same. 

Still experts report that the more optimistic view of the latest research finds that taking out layers of middle management makes organizations more agile and streamline.

But one problem of all those cuts is the brain drain. “Companies haemorrhage the expertise of middle managers who hold a great deal of institutional knowledge,’’ said Strauss. 

 There are close to 11 million people in the U.S. working in non-executive “middle’’ management roles compared to 238,000 executive leaders, according to the Department of Labor.  By 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely or in a hybrid capacity.

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    About The Author

    • Chriss Swaney

      Chriss Swaney is a freelance reporter who has written for Antique Trader Magazine, Reuters, The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, the Burlington Free Press, UPI, The Tribune-Review and the Daily Record.

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