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Insider Today: Tech workers are bummed

Dan DeFrancesco   

Insider Today: Tech workers are bummed

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In today's big story, we're looking at why some tech workers don't love their jobs anymore.

What's on deck:

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The big story

Trouble in tech

Tech workers are not having a good time.

After years of being viewed as one of the best industries to work in, tech's run at the top of the white-collar corporate hierarchy could be coming to an end, Aaron Terrazas, Glassdoor's chief economist, writes for Insider.

Employee satisfaction at tech companies is now pretty much in line with workers in finance and consulting, Terrazas writes.

Many factors led to the shift, from significant layoffs in Big Tech to in-office mandates and financial pressure due to high interest rates.

But the core of the issue stems from something much simpler: Tech companies are growing up.

Gone are the days of flat tech structures where seemingly every employee had a say.

The influx of management layers in Big Tech, as previously documented by Insider's Hugh Langley and Grace Kay, means the people building the products are increasingly removed from those who make strategic decisions.

That growing divide might seem counterintuitive to companies hoping to leverage tech to innovate, but it also represents the maturation of the space. The old adage in tech of "move fast and break things" is a lot tougher to execute when you're a public company that regulators constantly watch.

(Interestingly enough, Terrazas writes that workers in non-tech roles — like human resources and marketing — report the highest job satisfaction at Big Tech companies.)

Terrazas offers some advice for firms looking to get back in their employees' good graces. But it feels like tech workers themselves will end up having to do a bit of recalibration.

In the same way that layoffs forced tech workers to reconsider their relationship with their jobs — work is not an extension of your family; it's more like a sports team — this too could serve as a wake-up call. Working in Big Tech has become a job like any other corporate gig.

3 things in markets

  • Wall Street's top cop said a financial crash from AI is "nearly unavoidable." Gary Gensler, the SEC chair, said reliance on AI models could lead to economic chaos. He called for regulation of the underlying models built by tech companies.

  • Janet Yellen said the US economy can support both Israel and Ukraine. The treasury secretary said the US can "certainly afford" to send aid to both countries. She noted inflation has been high, but said it's come down "considerably" and pointed to the strong labor market. "The American economy is doing extremely well," she said.

  • Households are diving into the treasury market. Despite a massive sell-off in the space, households are stepping in. But such high demand for bonds could impact equities next year.

3 things in tech

  • Leaked Microsoft pay guidelines provide insight into how much the company pays new hires by level, with ranges for base pay, hiring bonuses, and annual stock awards. The highest pay package in the guidelines, viewed by Insider, was $361,500 in salary, $1.2 million as a hiring bonus, and about $1 million in annual stock awards.

  • Read the email announcing layoffs at LinkedIn. On Sunday, some workers at the professional networking website discovered a mysterious list of around 500 names, with at least one employee speculating that it was a "kill list." On Monday, LinkedIn announced that it is cutting more than 600 roles across its engineering and product teams.

  • A $20,000 bill to fix a Tesla. After being unable to start his vehicle, a Tesla owner was "flabbergasted" to get hit with such a big charge to fix the car. After having it delivered to Tesla Edinburgh, the owner was told the battery was "damaged due to water ingress" and wasn't covered under warranty.

3 things in business

  • Tensions flare at Two Sigma over donations following Hamas terror attacks. The $60 billion New York-based quant fund manager initially approved five charities for double matching following the attacks. But some employees believed the firm didn't immediately do enough to support Israel.

  • Don't get between a T.J. Maxx customer and their Rae Dunn mugs. A leaked internal document shows how employees at the off-price retailer are supposed to handle aggressive shoppers hunting for viral products. The protocols detail how customers have entered the backroom looking for merch, yelled at an associate, and even pushed other customers.

  • Having employees interview their future manager is a recipe for disaster. A senior leader at Amazon said it's a terrible idea that creates a conflict of interest. Employees might feel they should have been considered for the managerial role, or pick the most likable candidate instead of the most qualified.

In other news

What's happening today

  • US House is expected to convene to elect a speaker. Rep. Jim Jordan is the Republican party's latest nominee for the position.

  • Jada Pinkett Smith's memoir "Worthy" is released. The book reveals that Pinkett Smith and Will Smith separated in 2016.

  • Earnings today: Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, and other companies.

For your bookmarks

Trader Joe's fall finds

A dietitian who used to work at Trader Joe's highlighted the top fall foods at the chain. The butternut-squash mac and cheese is perfect for busy weeknights.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, senior editor and anchor, in New York City. Diamond Naga Siu, senior reporter, in San Diego. Hallam Bullock, editor, in London. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.

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