Online shopping platform Shopify has recently laid off more than a thousand employees in an attempt to prioritise its financial profit after poorly investing during the pandemic and failing to predict the online shopping boom during lockdown.
Chief Executive of Shopify, Tobias Lütke notes that the company is also cutting down on “over-specialised” and “duplicate” roles as well as “groups that were convenient to have but too far removed from building products.” He attributes the layoffs to a miscalculated bet that the e-commerce industry would continue to grow beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Certain laid off employees have shared their authentic reactions to the news via TikTok. The most known example being that of Caro Schissler who shared a video of her crying at learning she was one of the 10% of Shopify’s workers to be laid off. Caro claims to be completely taken aback by the news as she demonstrated such commitment to the company for over three years. Caro expressed how heartbreaking it is that companies prioritise profit over worker safety.
I already had a major issue with this, and it just goes to show how toxic the work culture that large corporations like Shopify create for their employees. This layoff will not benefit the company; rather, it will demonstrate to the employees who have invested so much time, effort, and love into the company that they should reconsider how they are being treated and what the future holds for them (possible layoff).
In a follow up TikTok, Schissler says she feels angry and hurt about being fired after working at Shopify for three years and feeling that her job was part of her identity. She also thanked viewers and followers of hers for getting in touch with her about future opportunities and helping her expand her professional network.
What was arguably so inhumane about the way Shopify let their workers off was that they did so remotely. “This happened to me & it’s really tough when they shut your [computer] off and you can’t say bye to ppl properly” another worker commented on Caro’s video, “I woke up early to prepare for a presentation of some recent work and having that taken away somehow made it worse,” @thehannahschm, who identified themselves as a fellow former Shopify employee, wrote.