Signs of layoffs may be hard to spot, but there are a few key things to look for. It’s better to be prepared than not, so here are 100 signs that your company may be laying off employees soon or shutting down.
It’s hard to face the possibility of being laid off, but it’s important to be aware of the signs that may indicate your company is preparing to let go of employees. Rapid growth and contraction are now the norms for businesses, especially in the digital world, so you can’t prevent layoffs from happening – but you can see them coming.
According to Layoffs.fyi, more than 30,000 workers from tech startups have been laid off since the beginning of May 2022. And while that figure is shocking, it’s not entirely surprising given the current state of the economy.
Signs Of Layoffs
What’re layoffs? A layoff is a reduction in the workforce of a company or organization. In other words, people are losing their jobs.
There are a number of reasons why your company may be considering layoffs. It could be due to financial difficulties, changes in the marketplace, or even new technology that makes certain positions obsolete. Whatever the reason, there are usually warning signs that layoffs are imminent.
While we can not predict the future, there are certain signs that may suggest your company is considering layoffs in the near future. Here are 100 signs that your company may be preparing to lay off employees soon:
- Your company has stopped hiring for new positions
- There have been recent changes in upper management
- Your company is suddenly tight-lipped about its plans for the future
- There have been recent budget cuts
- Your team’s workload has increased significantly
- You are no longer being invited to important meetings
- Your projects have been put on hold
- You are being asked to do more with fewer resources
- The company is no longer providing training or development opportunities
- There has been a decrease in company morale
- You are no longer being given new assignments
- Your performance reviews are suddenly much more critical
- You are no longer being given raises or promotions
- Your position has been eliminated from the company organizational chart
- The company is offering voluntary buyouts
- The company is hiring temps or contractors to do your job
- Your company is outsourcing your work to another country
- You are being asked to sign a new employment contract
- The company is instituting a hiring freeze
- Your benefits have been cut
- Your hours have been reduced
- You are no longer being reimbursed for business expenses
- The dress code has changed and you are now required to wear more casual clothing
- The company has stopped providing refreshments or snacks
- The office temperature has been turned down to save money
- Your company is no longer paying for your parking or public transportation costs
- You are being asked to take a pay cut
- Your 401k contributions have been suspended
- You are no longer allowed to work from home
- Your company is downsizing its office space
- Layoff rumors have begun circulating around the office
- You are suddenly being excluded from important conversations
- You are no longer copied on important emails
- Your projects are being reassigned to other people
- You are being asked to train your replacement
- You are being asked to sign a non-compete clause
- Your job description has changed and you are now being asked to do tasks that are outside of your skillset
- You are no longer allowed to take vacation days
- Your sick days have been eliminated
- The company is offering early retirement packages
- You are receiving less positive feedback from your superiors
- You are being micro-managed more than usual
- Your projects are being put on hold indefinitely
- You are no longer invited to important meetings or conference calls
- Your office space is being relocated to a different floor or building
- Your company is instituting mandatory furlough days
- Payroll errors have begun occurring more frequently
- You are being asked to sign a severance agreement
- The company has stopped providing health insurance benefits
- The company has filed for bankruptcy
- Your position has been eliminated and you have been laid off
- Executive team, especially when CEO steps down with no clear replacement
- Your company is being sold or acquired by another company
- An unexpectedly large number of people have quit recently
- There are more empty desks and cubicles in the office than usual
- The mood in the office has changed from optimistic to pessimistic
- People are talking about looking for new jobs more than usual
- There is an increase in the number of people working from home
- There is an increase in the number of people taking sick days
- There is an increase in the number of people taking vacation days
- The office noise level has decreased significantly
- People are leaving work earlier than usual
- Company founder(s) are no longer involved in day-to-day operations
- New hires are not being made to replace those who have left
- Your email inbox is full of messages from recruiters
- You are being asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
- Your email is not working or you are not able to access certain company files
- The company has stopped providing food for meetings and events
- The company has stopped sponsoring team building and social events
- No more business travel is being approved
- Your company has stopped advertising and marketing itself
- The cleaning staff has been laid off or replaced with a cheaper service
- There is an increase in the number of security guards or security cameras in the office
- Packages and mail are no longer being delivered to the office
- The marketing team is no longer working on new campaigns
- The sales team is no longer making new sales pitches
- The product development team is no longer working on new products or features
- The customer service team is no longer responding to customer inquiries
- The company has stopped attending industry events and conferences
- Your company website has been taken down or is no longer being updated regularly
- The parking lot is empty during the day or there are fewer cars in the parking lot
- There is an increase in the number of people working late at night
- Your building or office access card no longer works
- You are no longer able to log in to your computer or the email account
- Company phones have been disconnected
- Your office key no longer opens the door
- The company has stopped paying rent for its office space
- Your company has moved out of its office space or is no longer using all of its office space
- Internal emails are vaguer and less informative than usual
- There are more closed doors in the office than usual
- New people, likely consultants, are working in the office but you don’t know who they are or why they’re there
- You see people carrying boxes of personal belongings out of the office
- Social media accounts for your company have been inactive or deleted
- The Company LinkedIn page has been taken down or is no longer being updated
- Employee LinkedIn profiles are being updated to remove references to your company
- No one is talking to you or will make eye contact with you in the office
- Unable to get on any chat or collaboration platforms being used by the company
- See bad press online or in the news about your company
- An increase in the number of people being escorted out of the office by security
- Your HR schedule a meeting with you and won’t tell you what it’s about
How Does A Company Decide Who To Layoff?
Once a company has made the decision to layoff employees, it must then decide who will be laid off. This can be done in a number of ways, but most companies use some combination of the following criteria:
The company eliminates positions that are no longer necessary due to changes in business operations. For example, if a company stops selling a product, it will no longer need the employees who were responsible for that product.
Last In, First Out (LIFO)
The company lays off the most recently hired employees first. This is often used in conjunction with position elimination. For example, if a company eliminates the positions of customer service representatives, they will lay off the most recently hired customer service representatives first.
The company lays off employees who have poor performance reviews or who are not meeting expectations.
The company lays off employees who do not have the skills that are required for the remaining positions. For example, if a company eliminates the position of marketing manager, they will lay off the marketing employees who do not have management experience.
The company lays off employees who are paid more than the remaining employees. For example, if a company has two employees with the same job title and one of them is paid $15 per hour while the other is paid $20 per hour, the company will likely lay off the employee who is paid $20 per hour.
The company lays off employees who have less seniority. For example, if a company has two employees with the same job title and one of them has been with the company for two years while the other has been with the company for five years, the company will likely lay off the employee who has been with the company for two years.
Layoffs are a fact of life in the business world, especially in the digital world. If you are concerned that your company may be planning a layoff, keep an eye out for the signs listed above. And if you see one or more of these signs, don’t panic – just be prepared.
Remember, being laid off is not a reflection on you as an employee. It is simply a business decision that is often out of your control. So do your best to stay positive and keep looking for new opportunities.
We launched StartupLayoffs.com because we want to be here for you during these tough times. We are here for you whether you’ve been laid off, are looking for a new job, or just want to stay informed about the latest layoff news.
Email us whenever – firstname.lastname@example.org, shit we can even hop on a call if you want.
Hang in there!