Workplace trends: Meta and Lyft freeze hiring, SoftBank lays off 30% of Vision Fund, is WFH behind the housing market crisis? 

In the first week of October, we are back with the round-up on work trends and the latest news. Last week has been rough for the startup ecosystem, with massive layoffs and hiring freezes showing that the global economy is yet to rebound. 

What about hybrid and remote work? It looks like teams are settling into their models with moderate success. At the same time, we were surprised by the data released by the Fed, as it suggests that the housing market crisis may have been fueled by remote work. 

Come back for the latest work trends digest episodes each Monday and explore our earlier posts to stay in the loop on top news. 

Layoff news 

Fears of layoffs as Facebook parent Meta reportedly announces hiring freeze | The Guardian

In his Q&A with Facebook employees last week, Zuckerberg sketched the company’s ambition to “plan somewhat conservatively”, as the global economy has not stabilized yet. He also stated that Meta will “further restructure” which sparked layoff anxiety among employees. 

Truepill, a digital health unicorn, conducts fourth round of layoffs in 2022 | TechCrunch

As the pandemic telehealth boom is dying down, one of its frontrunners, Truepill, looks for ways to stay afloat amidst plummeting demand. Over the last quarter, the company has continuously trimmed its workforce – last month alone, it laid off one-third of its workforce. Now the company is starting a new, fourth wave of layoffs, with over 65% of its staff under fire. 

SoftBank Plans To Cut 30% Of Vision Fund Staff | Crunchbase

2022 has been a challenging year for the Japanese VC giant. The depreciation of the yen together with the company’s flagship portfolio companies – Doordash and Uber – led to a staggering $21.6 billion loss reported in August. To bounce back from its losses, the company is trimming its organizational structure and lays off 30% of its Vision Fund. 

Lyft workers are nervous that layoffs might be next after the company freezes all hiring in the U.S | Fortune

The startup will no longer hire in the US until the end of the year. The hiring freeze followed a 68% stock depreciation and a record driver shortage. The company’s US team found the announcement difficult to process – many believe it signals an upcoming layoff wave. 

Inside the human cost of’s brutal layoffs | TechCrunch

In December last year,, a digital mortgage provider, made headlines for firing 900 employees over a Zoom call. While there was no large-scale layoff news since, according to TechCrunch, the company continues letting people go in smaller groups. Those who stay also feel as if they had been set up for failure through unrealistic performance targets and increasingly severe office mandates. 

Remote and hybrid work

Some People Get to Stay Home. Get Over It. | New York Times

A new episode of Work Friend, a New York Times series that delves into the challenges of work life, touches on the feeling of unfairness for not being able to get a remote job while someone on the team can work from home. It dives deeper on other nerve-striking culture questions as well – seeking closure from a former employer and long-term career planning. 

The top 3 skills you need to land a work-from-anywhere job in 2022 | CNBC

As the job market shifts power dynamics back to employers and the pandemic is becoming a thing of the past, employees feel like their chances of getting a remote job are slimmer these days. The good news is you can still find an attractive opening if you have the skills that are essential for a high-performance WFH professional. CNBC gives a review of three skills that increase the odds of landing a remote position. 

Remote Work Drove Over 60% of House-Price Surge, Fed Study Finds | Bloomberg

For years, it’s been said that the pandemic helped offset a housing market crisis by allowing peple to move around and reducing the rent and housing strain felt in urban centers like SF and NYC. Now the Federal Reserve Bank of San Fransisco published its latest data which seems to be suggesting a different reading frame. Apparently, the spike in housing costs coincided with the widespread adoption of remote work, while increased employee mobility got housing prices across the country out of whack. 

Don’t Confuse ‘Being in the Office’ With ‘Culture’ | Gallup

Team leaders have a love-hate relationship with hybrid work: on paper, it brings the best of both worlds, gives employees what they want, and creates opportunities for interactions without eating away at flexibility. However, managers are reluctant to greenlight the new model – in their opinion, not having all employees aligned in the same working environment puts culture in jeopardy. New data by Gallup may help ease these doubts, as it shows that culture does not equal “office” and can be successfully fostered in a hybrid workplace. 

The Economy May Throw Digital And Hybrid Work Another Curve | Forbes

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say everyone had a different future in mind for 2022. As the world was finally bouncing back from the pandemic, it looked like the economy would come back stronger and continue reaping the benefits of tech progress, drawing on lessons learned in the last two years. However, a few months in, it became clear that unprecedented political tension and the following energy crisis put most industries in a tighter spot than ever. Also, it’s difficult to predict what the end of the year will bring to most aspects of business, including remote and hybrid work adoption. Will layoffs and the recession impact the speed of adopting new work models? A recent Forbes article is aiming to answer that question. 

Work culture

How Companies Should Set — and Report — DEI Goals | Harvard Business Review

In the last decade, employee diversity went from an arbitrary practice only the “wokest” of startups adopted to a standard requirement. With the Black Lives Matter movement at the center of the public eye in 2021, companies were expected to be more transparent about their diversity policies and share relevant data. Even so, established practices are often revealed to be a lackluster smokescreen. A Harvard Business Review article explores how HR leaders can improve the situation. 

How to strengthen the power of the HR function | Unleash

How can HR managers make sure they are not left to the mercy of their teams and have a say in fostering culture and influencing talent development? An intentional strategy to designing healthy power dynamics between HR and other departments is crucial: here are the practices that will help HR managers have the upper hand when they need it. 

The hidden overwork that creeps into so many jobs | BBC Worklife

BBC Worklife dives deeper into a problem that has planted itself deeply into the startup culture: systematic overworking. For most rapidly-growing teams, putting in their work hours is not enough – employees find themselves working under the radar as well, be it catching up on industry insights or talking to teammates for situational awareness. In the short-term, such dedication is great – it allows to get a lot done. In the long run, downsides might overweigh the benefits. 

3 Predictors Of A Toxic Work Culture And How Leaders Can Detox It | Forbes

Can you be sure that your team is not walking on eggshells around you, exhausted from the productivity paranoia, micromanagement, and other common characteristics of a toxic workplace? Forbes shares a quick guide that helps leaders be sure that they are not turning their teams’ workplaces into a “living nightmare”. 

This workplace digest is brought to you by oVice – a virtual office platform that helps connect hybrid and remote teams as effectively as managers could at the office. We support remote team leaders with customizable office spaces, where catching up with someone is as easy as walking up to their desks. 

Learn more about the ways teams use oVice to stay connected. Also, we believe that nothing beats trying to use the platform on your own – drop by the tour space for a firsthand experience of a virtual office and a chat with our team. 

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