Workplace trends: GE and Walmart layoffs, managers struggle with hybrid, emergency funds are a new trend

We are back with the round of latest workplace news and trends. Last week was marked by major lay-off announcements from GE and Walmart. At the same time, team leaders and talent managers are trying to figure out if the Great Resignation is over (spoiler: it’s not) and where the market will turn. 

Staying up to date with trends in the workplace will help you be one step ahead of the change and know what’s coming for the global workforce. To get weekly nuggets of discussions on the future of work, follow our workplace trends digest. 

If you missed last week’s or earlier episodes, here’s where you can look them up


GE is laying off 20% of its U.S. workforce devoted to onshore wind power, costing hundreds of jobs | CNBC

General Electric is cutting 20% of the US-based wind workforce. According to a company spokesperson, GE layoffs will help “ensure the business can complete and improve profitability over time”. 

Walmart to lay off about 1,500 workers at Atlanta fulfillment center | Reuters 

The retail giant will be laying off over 1,000 employees at its Atlanta facility. The employees who are let go specialize in order fulfillment. According to the company’s official statement, affected workers received the confirmation of the upcoming layoff in August. 

Spotify cancels 11 original podcasts, lays off under 5% of podcast staff | TechCrunch

For the first time in its history, Spotify is canceling its podcasts and laying off teams working on them. The company will bid farewell to 11 shows – “How to Save a Planet”, “Crime Show”, “Every Little Thing”, and others. According to TechCrunch, a round of tech layoffs signals the company’s desire to focus on its hit shows.

CNN Lays Off Podcast Employees in Latest Round of Cuts | Bloomberg

CNN is also trimming its presence on the podcast scene. According to a podcast division employee, laid off in the latest wave of job cuts, the company will reportedly produce fewer audio series in the future. 

Remote and hybrid work environments

Busting global myths on hybrid work: here’s how flexibility can help companies and employees thrive | World Economic Forum

In a new article for World Economic Forum, Dell shares its vision of a connected workplace. The company looks back at its experience of managing hybrid teams to dismantle myths like “Hybrid culture is not sustainable and shares practices on eliminating disconnect. 

For Employers, Remote and Hybrid Work Now All About Setting Expectations | SHRM

As companies permanently shift to remote and hybrid work, setting expectations and communicating them to employees becomes extremely complex. To encourage teams to see the value in coming to the office on a regular basis, HR leaders need to change the way they communicate office benefits and job expectations. 

4 Myths About In-Person Work, Dispelled | Harvard Business Review

As much as we would want to believe that the shift to remote work did not affect engagement, it very much did so. Statistics show engagement dips across all industries and managers understandably blame them on the inability to keep teams together. While finding the solution to the problem is crucial, it’s about weaving togetherness into flexible workplaces, not staying stuck in the old ways. 

The return-to-office compromise between workers and bosses created a nightmare for middle managers | Fortune 

It’s no secret that employees and C-suite struggle to find common ground on how flexible workplaces should be. Luckily, both sides tend to recognize the need for a compromise – but the pressure of finding a balance between flexibility and presence falls on middle managers. 

The US push for pay transparency | BBC Worklife

Do you know how much your teammates make? If you don’t it might change yet, with many US states pushing the envelope on wage transparency. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act passed in California and New York City might require employers to disclose wages transparently. Experts worldwide hope that the change will not be local and that similar laws will be adopted worldwide. 

What No One Understands About Your Job | The Atlantic

In the new post for The Atlantic, Derek Thomson busts a few myths about universally misunderstood jobs. These are not necessarily rare job openings – even relatively common jobs like ER doctor or financial analyst, are riddled with misconceptions. Learn how professionals in multiple fields feel misunderstood (and, maybe, find your job on the list as well). 

The ‘Great Resignation’ is ongoing in the US | Unleash 

Most common economic indicators – GDP, CPI, and others, point to the fact that we are in the midst of an ongoing recession. Employers and HR team leaders would hope that ongoing anxiety would slow the Great Resignation down and hold people tighter to their desks. There were only partly right – in September, over 250,000 employees found new jobs. 

More companies offer emergency savings options to workers | New York Times

Offering employees emergency funds is another emerging trend likely fueled by the recession and the pressure of rapidly changing times. From big employees like Starbucks to emerging tech startups are appealing to job applicants by giving them a failsafe in the case of emergencies – and the strategy seems to work out well. 

Leadership and team management tips 

Lifting the career gap stigma | Applied 

Career gaps – breaks from work that last at least 6 months – are often associated with a lack of motivation or skills that lead to a candidate facing difficulties in looking for a job. 53% of employees said they would feel more comfortable applying for jobs if they didn’t have to disclose career gaps. Yet, career gaps are usually productive: 51% of those who took them felt like they gained transferable skills. That’s why it’s crucial to normalize (in some cases endorse) career gaps. 

Creating Purpose: Talent Management In Times Of Change | Forbes 

The concept of “purpose” has a mystical ring to it, making it harder for team leaders to find ways to apply it to their teams. The Forbes article suggests thinking of purpose as “things making sense” and offers actionable tips for fostering it in the workplace. 

It’s time for a new social code between bosses and employees | FastCompany

The traditional model of workplace dynamics is centuries old, with its routes in the Industrial Revolution. In the last decade, we are seeing it break down – fewer employees are willing to put up with regimented schedules and job toxicity. Instead, a new social code between bosses and employees is starting to emerge – one of autonomy and freedom. 

Advancing DEI Among Frontline Employees | Wall Street Journal

Among C-level executives, diversity, equity, and inclusion often appear in discussions but frontline workers struggle to feel the impact of DEI. Deloitte shares new insights on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the frontline and offers a framework that would help leaders create a better workplace for all. 

The weekly pulse on workplace trends was brought to you by oVice: a virtual office platform. We believe that the workplace of the future is location-agnostic and flexible. At the same time, we have learned that offering flexible teams a common space for discussions, collaboration, or water cooler chats will help improve culture and increase workplace retention. That’s why we support over 2,200 organizations with customizable virtual office spaces. 


If you are wondering what a virtual office is and how your team can benefit from having one, take a tour of oVice and explore its features. 

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