Layoffs may be the new normal for the next year as the economy struggles to right itself. No matter what position you have within your company, layoffs anywhere in the company will have an effect on you. 

For those who are laid off, this economic cycle will feel particularly personal, causing financial and work upheaval until they find a new role. Meanwhile, executives and HR teams will be on the front lines delivering news to colleagues and trying to manage the less obvious costs of layoffs throughout the company, such as maintaining employee engagement, keeping morale up, and pushing productivity in the face of layoffs at your company. 

It’s critical to ensure those hidden costs of layoffs stay low, because they can have huge impacts on business performance going forward. According to Harvard Business Review, we should be taking lessons from the 2008-2009 financial crisis and the layoffs that ensued. Companies that undertook layoffs saw a 41% decline in job satisfaction among the remaining workers and a 31% increase in voluntary turnover. 

Critically, employers who laid off workers saw a 20% decrease in job performance from the employees who remained, and many companies struggled to regain their footing. 

Therefore, the employees who remain after a round of layoffs deserve critical consideration; leaders need to actively work to bolster company culture and trust, and employees who remain in the company need to brace themselves as they absorb tasks their former colleagues used to perform. 

The emotional impact of layoffs for employees who remain

Undoubtedly, layoffs cause an emotional impact — both for those who are laid off and those who remain after colleagues are let go. You’ll likely feel frustrated about the trajectory of the company, nervous about being caught in a subsequent round of layoffs, and exhausted from using energy trying to come to grips with a new social environment.

Here are a few ways you can cope with these elements: 

  • Engage in a mentorship program if your company offers one: A mentorship program, whether you are a mentor or mentee, is a great way to stay engaged in a company and gain a better understanding of the overall company goals. This can help decrease stress about the trajectory of the company if you are actively engaged with others there. 
  • Channel your nervous energy into professional development: If you’re worried about getting caught up in another round of layoffs, undertaking professional development can be an effective distraction. You’ll be building skills that are transferable to other roles as well. 
  • Make new daily routines: Losing colleagues you enjoyed spending time with can make your day-to-day less enjoyable. To start making new routines, suggest your colleagues meet in the lunch room at the same time one day each week, or try out a new lunch place to take a break from the office. 
  • Utilize your PTO: Even more important? Making sure you take your earned PTO. According to a study from PEW Research, 49% of workers don’t want to take PTO because they’re worried they’ll fall behind, but not taking PTO will lead to much faster burnout. 

Making small changes to improve your job satisfaction could help you adjust to the emotional toll layoffs take on you. 

6 ways to combat the hidden cost of layoffs

When it comes to your personal workload, layoffs can seriously impact your productivity, adding new tasks to your plate and stripping your team of resources. Luckily, Wrike is here to help.

We’ve put together a useful infographic with six top tips for tackling the productivity issues that accompany layoffs.

6 ways to combat layoffs

Embrace the future of work intelligence

Another tip for tackling organizational layoffs is to embrace the new technologies at your disposal.

The age of artificial intelligence (AI) has dawned and it’s changing everything about how we live and work. In the new era of doing more with less, AI tools are going to be transformative. Features such as predictive text, chatbots, transcription services, and large language models (e.g., ChatGPT) will help you unlock extra capacity. AI is also transforming the world of project management and helping jump-start content creation

Wrike has already begun engaging AI to turn work management into your new superpower. Wrike’s Work Intelligence™ features can help you create to-do lists, identify risks, and reduce churn through time-consuming tasks. It can even function as your virtual assistant. 

Here’s what Wrike’s Work Intelligence™ features look like in action: 

These are the types of tools that will help you push forward despite the hidden costs of layoffs taking their toll. AI can help organizations become faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective than ever.

More importantly, it’s empowering the human workforce, who can use that saved time and energy to put their unique skills and talents to work.

Lean on tools that help you work efficiently

Determining capacity and priorities aren’t always the easiest tasks in the best of times. But with shifting variables, you’ll probably find you need assistance. That’s where powerful work management software comes in. The right platform can make it easier to look at the success or struggle of past projects, outline priorities, determine entire teams’ and departments’ capacities for additional work, and more. 

A work management platform such as Wrike can also help you consolidate your martech stack, saving your company money in the long run — without hobbling your work by taking away the features you need most. 

And of course, Wrike can help you take back the time you’re currently losing to the Dark Matter of Work, by automating repeatable tasks and workflows, enabling real-time communication that can replace your least productive meetings, and so much more. 

If you’re preparing to cope with the hidden cost of layoffs at your company, why not give Wrike a try? We’re confident we’ll be able to help you do more with less.