Monday, January 14, 2008

The Story of One Office Closed by McGraw-Hill

One of the great things about the Internet is that through it, you can usually find the pieces of just about any information puzzle. In this case, while we wonder where people lost jobs in the wake of McGraw-Hill's 600-plus layoff, a local newspaper in Maine has identified five of the victims.

The Knox County Times of Rockport, Maine, reports on the closure of the International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press office. Five people are losing their jobs. Two editors are staying on to continue publishing a reduced list from their home offices.

This last bit is the significant thing I wanted to call your attention to. This seems to be a common result of an office closure. If the company doesn't want to spend the money to keep an office open, sometimes they will ask some employees to continue working for them from home. It happened here several years ago when Thomson (now Cengage) closed the Indianapolis office of Prima (now Course Technology). Several key employees continued to work for the company from their homes. As a matter of fact, last I heard, some of them were still doing that.

So an office closure doesn't necessarily mean then end of everyone's employment. Acquisitions editors, it seems, are the most bullet-proof because they know the product, have the contacts, and are difficult to replace with freelancers.