Rockstar wants folks back in the office despite saying otherwise

The world can wait for GTA 6. Stop forcing your employees back into the office!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

If 2020 has taught us anything, if there is something that can do at home, it should be done there. Unfortunately, those who have to lord their power over others don’t see it that way. And it seems that Rockstar Games is the latest to fall prey to that thinking.

Yet another deal altered

Yesterday, Rockstar Games decided in its infinite wisdom that all employees should return back into the office full time. With this policy going into effect in April, many of the developers have referred to this path as “reckless”.

The reasoning for this decision is because GTA 6 is entering its final stage of development. Management is concerned with security and productivity and wants to circle its wagons around the building.

When the announcement went public, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) went off on Rockstar for pulling the rug up from under remote workers. IWGB stated that the “majority” of Rockstar were working remote and that management said changes to the policy would be “rare”.

IWGB then pulled out receipts. It referenced a signed petition by 170 Rockstar workers that opposed a mandatory three-day in-office work week. IWGB stated that this change “marks a U-turn from previous statements in which the company insisted flexible work options would remain available”.

Rockstar devs voice concerns

On top of all this, many members of the dev team have reached out to the union. Concerns were voiced about returning to the office. Someone said that being able to work remotely was “a lifeline” for many of the staff. “Now, Rockstar is snatching away that lifeline without a second thought for the workers who’ll be impacted most,” they said.

The employee doesn’t have faith that the company will keep many of its other promises after breaking this one. The biggest one they fear will return is the “toxic ‘crunch’ practices”. “Senior leadership need to rethink their reckless decision making and engage with their staff to find an arrangement that works for everyone.”

Another employee stated that nobody from management reached out to consult on how a return to the office would even look like. They, too, expressed concerns of crunch and working around the clock to stay in contact globally with other teams. This was remotely by allowing people to join a call when they needed.

Other issues brought up were employees missing time with their family. Another big issue that I feel gets left out of these conversations are employees who can’t physically come to an office due to disability or illness.

The workers in the IWGB Game Workers Union at Rockstar are pushing for transparency over pay and promotions, a healthy and inclusive workplace culture, and work life balance centred around what each worker needs.

Workers across the industry are done with letting executives make reckless and harmful decisions and the Rockstar workers are showing us the start of what’s to come if they’re continually ignored. There’s no better time than now to join our union and push for this to be the healthy and sustainable games industry we know it can be.”

IWGB Game Workers chair Austin Kelmore

Why can’t people work from home?

It baffles me how management at companies all over the globe think they can get better work out of their employees this way. This showed people that their lives can be improved after removing unnecessary meetings, commutes, and micromanaging. Why would they go back? It was nice to get so much time back. When it was taken away from me, I fought to get it back.

I hope these devs get to keep theirs, too.

I’m in no rush for GTA 6.

Source: Eurogamer

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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