Many large employers are already cutting staff and implementing hiring freezes amid an economic downturn that probably will soon be a full-blown recession (at least according to most economists and CEOs).

But are massive layoffs on the horizon? And if so, who’s in the cross-hairs?

A recent survey by software maker Beautiful.ai finds that remote workers may be first to go.

The survey of 3,000 managers finds that 60% agree it’s likely remote employees would be laid off first. Only 20% said that’s not very unlikely.

“When it comes to managing employees, the lack of face-time can affect many different aspects of the job,” the company’s report finds.

That apparently includes who’s at the top of the to-go list.

Out of sight, out of mind, you could say.

Nearly two-thirds of managers surveyed said they believe “managing is more difficult in a remote workplace.”

For workers, it’s a big Catch-22.

On the one hand, their employers were quick to accommodate work-from-home needs during the pandemic — and appreciated that productivity during the pandemic was largely unaffected.

On the other, not having staffers in the workplace makes them more vulnerable to cutbacks because, you know, they’re not around.

Not to be preachy, but smart managers will judge all workers by their output and contributions to the enterprise.

That may be a little more challenging to gauge than looking around the office and seeing busy little beavers plugging away at their desks.

But over the long haul, in times like these, physical presence isn’t the determinant of job performance it once was.

Employers only shoot themselves in the foot when they hand pink slips to people for the wrong reasons.