David Baszucki, founder and CEO of Roblox, emailed employees to say that the company is “transitioning away from remote work.”
Like many traditional CEOs, Baszucki cites “innovation” as the reason for the change:
I personally hoped that for our culture and our type of work, it might be possible to imagine a heavily hybrid remote culture. But there was a pivotal moment for me when we had our first post-quarantine, in-person group gathering. 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.
Now, nearly a year after most of us have returned to our headquarters in San Mateo, we’ve seen how much we can accomplish, how far we can push innovation, and how being together strengthens our culture. For many of us, “Zoom fatigue” is real. A three-hour Group Review in person is much less exhausting than over video and brainstorming sessions are more fluid and creative. 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.
Baszucki says not all remote employees will be forced back into the office, as some roles require remote work. For everyone else, the message is simple — come back to the office or find another job:
There will be some remote employees who are not asked to return, specifically 1) teams and roles that are required to be remote (e.g., data centers, moderators, call centers, etc.), and 2) individuals who have niche skill sets or significant institutional knowledge (e.g., multi-disciplinary skills, deep expertise with Roblox systems, etc.). At this time, we will not be extending new offers to remote employees, beyond the exceptions outlined above. 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.