If you’ve been following the news of late you’ve probably seen a lot of headlines similar to these:
- “Tech consulting giant Accenture cutting 19K jobs“
- “Facebook-parent Meta plans to lay off another 10,000 employees“
- “Dell to lay off 6,650 workers, or 5% of its workforce“
- “Microsoft to lay off 10,000 workers as it looks to trim costs“
And those companies are just the tip of the iceberg, with mass layoffs affecting numerous tech professionals across the entire tech tech sector.
All these layoffs have prompted me to ponder this question: If these companies can lay off thousands of their employees, did they really need that many in the first place?
I get that companies that operate worldwide and literally serve billions of customers/users need lots of employees. But did they really need to hire so many that they can afford to lay off thousands of them at a time without expecting it to lower the quality and availability of their products and services?
And speaking of the quality of their products and services, has it really ever been that great to start with?
It seems like every time a major Windows update is released it ends up breaking thousands of PCs until Microsoft gets around to releasing another update to fix the problem the previous update caused – which often ends up breaking something else.
And it seems like every time Meta decides to make changes to the Facebook user interface it either completely breaks an important feature or turns what used to be a two-click procedure to perform a common task into a something akin to navigating a corn maze.
And have you ever been successful at receiving any kind of tech support from a social media company for a problem you had with either their site or your account? I didn’t think so.
I first started working with computers and technology over 40 years ago and I’ve witnessed some absolutely incredible breakthroughs and innovations that literally changed the world for the better.
At the same time I’ve seen companies make decisions and changes that made no sense to anyone, at any level, outside the boardroom.
When all is said and done, I’m just a computer tech turned tech blogger. I don’t claim to know how to run trillion dollar companies or develop products that can make the world a better place.
And I certainly don’t claim to understand how corporations can afford lay off thousands of employees a time without it lowering the quality and quantity of their services.
After all, if those positions were important enough to be needed in the first place, how can they be eliminated at a time when more people are using technology than ever before?
But I do have a couple of simple suggestions from the point of view of a customer/user…
1 – Instead of paying thousands of coders to constantly tweak a product that’s already buggy and unstable, why not pay them to fix the problems that already exist and keep everything running smoothly in the future?
2 – Instead of constantly making changes to a product’s user interface and introducing new bugs in the process (looking at you, Microsoft and Facebook), why not leave it alone once it’s working well instead of frustrating your customers by moving things around and making them look high and low for things they’ve been using for years?
It seems to me that those suggestions could help you avoid hiring thousands of apparently non-essential employees in the first place. That way you wouldn’t need to lay them off at some point in the future.
Bottom line: Profits (which keep the shareholders happy) are the name of the game in a capitalist system. I get that, and I’m a huge believer in capitalism.
But does constantly making changes that end up frustrating customers to an already buggy product help boost the bottom line? I’m certainly no business tycoon, but the practical side of me has doubts.
And by the way, since profits are so important in the corporate world (as well they must be), how exactly does hiring tens of thousands of highly-paid “extra” employees that are so non-essential that you can afford to lay them off later help boost profits?
Again, I’m no expert in any of this business stuff. The above are just the rambling thoughts of your humble tech blogger.
Surely I’m missing some piece of the puzzle here. If you know what it is I’ll be forever grateful if you’ll send me a message and fill me in.