A hot potato: Roblox has joined the long list of companies telling its employees they need to get back into the office for at least three days per week. Like Amazon, the gaming firm has given workers an ultimatum: return or find another job.
David Baszucki, Roblox's founder and CEO, made the announcement in an email to staff that was shared publicly. He wrote that a number of remote employees will be asked to start working from Roblox headquarters in San Mateo by next summer as the company transitions away from remote work.
As with most other organizations, Roblox is adopting a three-days-per-week (Tuesday to Thursday) hybrid scheme.
Returning to the office is something most people are dead against; surveys have shown a large number of employees would rather leave their jobs than stop working from home full-time.
Roblox is giving its staff until January 16, 2024, to decide if they want to stay. Those who continue working at Roblox and relocate will receive assistance with relocation costs if needed. They are expected to begin working from its San Mateo offices by July 15, 2024.
Roblox workers who are dead set against returning to the office, or "are not able to relocate," as Baszucki puts it, can stay at the company until April 15, 2024. Departing employees will receive a severance package based on their level and term of service, along with six months of healthcare coverage for everyone on their policies.
It's a little ironic that the CEO of Roblox, a company that is all about virtual worlds and even has its own in-game recruiting platform, says in-person work is more engaging, collaborative, and productive than virtual workspaces. But then Zoom, the organization that became synonymous with working from home during the pandemic, did the same thing.
"A three-hour Group Review in person is much less exhausting than over video and brainstorming sessions are more fluid and creative," Baszucki claimed.
Back in August, Amazon issued a similar ultimatum to its employees, who have long pushed back against the company's return-to-work mandate. CEO Andy Jassy issued a stark warning to those who didn't want to return: "It's probably not going to work out for you."
In addition to Amazon and Zoom, Roblox is joining TikTok, IBM Software, Google, Dell, Apple, Meta, X/Twitter, and many more who have ended full-time remote work, a move some companies once promised would never happen.
There have been plenty of studies showing the benefits of working from home, including improved mental health, a better work/life balance, and no time lost while commuting. However, a study from earlier this year claimed productivity declined by 18% among home workers.