Before the pandemic, employees at the larger and more “glamorous” tech firms were enjoying perks like free lunches and snacks, newly designed and updated workspaces, and flexible hours. To an extent, the pandemic created a need for even more programmers and software engineers, continuing the demand for talent. 

But now the glimmer may be starting to fade, if not at the CEO level then at the employee level, according to a new report in the LA Times. 

On Tuesday, (SNAP CEO) Evan Spiegel announced that the parent company of the Snapchat app would be cutting about 20% of positions, making good on layoff plans that leaked to the media in early August. Facing the chopping block are investments in gaming, third-party services and original content as well as the company’s camera-equipped drones and glasses. Two stand-alone apps the company owns, Zenly and Voisey, are also “winding down.”

“Snap isn’t the only tech firm where workers are currently taking a beating. Meta Platforms — the umbrella company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has implemented a hiring freeze in certain divisions, as has Google. Microsoft, Netflix and Twitter have all gone even further and laid off staff, though none has cut its workforce as sharply as Snap. And tech stocks, which are part of many employees’ compensation packages, are sinking.”

“One indicator: recent efforts by big tech companies to push their employees back into brick-and-mortar offices. Apple will soon begin requiring workers to show up in person three days a week (some are resisting). Other companies have adopted even stricter policies, eliminating remote work altogether. Tech mogul Elon Musk has taken a hard-line stance at Tesla, and says he’ll be only slightly more lenient with Twitter employees if he ends up acquiring their company.”

“Working from home can now even mean taking a pay cut — a norm that tech giants such as Google and Twitter led the charge on.”

“I think the economic conditions are certainly starting to favor management over workers,” said Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya, a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate whose research has looked at employee activism in the tech sector.