Is Layoff Survivor Syndrome Legitimate? It's hard to say good-bye to laid-off coworkers, especially when you're reminded of your own vulnerability. Some experts say that the emotional effects on co-workers left after a round of layoffs are similar to the stress felt by workers suddenly laid-off. Layoff survivors are often left feeling like they should be grateful for the extra work and anxiety that comes with a downsized workforce. Check out what SavvySugar thinks about layoff survivor syndrome.