Roblox is forcing remote staff back into the office next year


Roblox is joining the growing chorus of tech companies attempting to force staff – some hired as remote workers – back into physical offices whether they’re happier or more productive at home or not. In his announcement blog, CEO David Baszucki argues that as an “innovation company,” Roblox Corporation needs in-person collaboration and mentorship, although it seems to be his own personal experience with an in-person gathering that was the “pivotal” factor in the decision to do away with so-called “Zoom fatigue” and require in-person work by the middle of next year.

Some employees are being excluded from the mandate, like moderators, call center support, and people too valuable to axe – that is, “individuals who have niche skill sets or significant institutional knowledge (e.g., multi-disciplinary skills, deep expertise with Roblox systems).” However, that does mean that workers hired as remote workers are now being asked to transition to in-office or be forced out: “For the remote employees whom we are asking to move to in-office roles, we will provide the option to join our three-day, in-office schedule (Tues.-Thurs.) or take a severance package.”

Baszucki notes that “most” of the company was already in person anyway, so it’s unclear how many staff are affected. No mention of health and safety improvements to the Roblox Corporation buildings (for example, air quality monitoring and ventilation) was mentioned. While the company says it will “assist with relocation costs,” it does not say how much it will offer (and for those who aren’t familiar with the area, San Mateo isn’t cheap).

Readers will recall that over the past year, Roblox has seen net losses every quarter, owing in part to what appear to be excessive expenditures, including property and equipment (“servers, infrastructure equipment, and tenant improvements”). That’s led to speculation that the company is not only working on a new game but expanding its physical footprint – perhaps with office space it now must fully fill to justify the expenses. Most recently, the company laid off a large chunk of its “talent acquisition” staff, which certainly makes one wonder how the studio will replace existing talent departing after the mandate.

Source: Roblox via GIbiz
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