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Roblox says employees must return to office because the metaverse still isn’t good enough

Like many other companies, Roblox will be shifting to a model where employees are expected to work three days in the office (Tuesday through Thursday). Staffers will have until January 16th, 2024, to decide if they want to stay on at the company under the new rules. If an employee chooses to stay at Roblox and relocate, the company will help with relocation costs and expects them to report into the company’s San Mateo, California, offices by July 15th, 2024.

Staffers who “are not able to relocate” can stay at the company until April 15th, 2024. Roblox will be offering a severance package for those people who choose to leave.

Roblox went fully remote in March 2020, but, according to Baszucki, the company had “numerous deep discussions” about its future and ultimately decided that “we needed to get back to working in person.” While he “hoped” that it “might be possible to imagine a heavily hybrid remote culture,” he had a “pivotal moment” during the company’s first “post-quarantine, in-person group gathering,” he says. “Within 45 minutes I came away from three separate conversations with spontaneous to do’s and ideas to put in motion, something that hadn’t happened during the past few years of video meetings.”

Baszucki also says that virtual working environments just aren’t as good as in-person ones: “While I’m confident we will get to a point where virtual workspaces are as engaging, collaborative, and productive as physical spaces, we aren’t there yet.” Seems like the company has some work to do to meet its own goal of having Roblox employees “spend more time using Roblox for remote meetings than with video” within the next five years.

Not all remote employees will have to go back to the office. People with jobs that are “required to be remote,” like staffers in data centers and call centers, can stay remote, as will “individuals who have niche skill sets or significant institutional knowledge (e.g., multi-disciplinary skills, deep expertise with Roblox systems, etc.),” Baszucki says.

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