Activision wants Blizzard employees to return to the office in July
Amid ongoing unionization efforts at the company, Activision will soon require Blizzard employees to spend the majority of their week working out of the company’s offices. An Activision spokesperson told Engadget employees with the company’s publishing unit will be required to work from the office at least three days per week starting April 10th. On July 10th, the same policy goes into effect for Blizzard Entertainment employees. At the company’s King mobile division, team leaders can set the office schedule for their units.
“Activision Blizzard has been returning teams to the office over the past year, and on February 13th, we updated our future-of-work plan,” the spokesperson said. “In close partnership with each leadership team, we customize a plan based on what’s best for our business and our teams. We look forward to the increased real-time, in-person collaboration and opportunities this change will foster.”
Today, Activision and Blizzard announced a return to office plan to employees. It begins April/June, depending on the studio. The company WILL see a large Reduction In Force if this occurs. In this thread, I’m going to explain why this is a terrible idea. 1/14
— Non Biners, Drive Ins, and Dives💙 (@LeastMyHairIsOk) February 14, 2023
Information on the company’s return-to-office plan was first shared earlier this week by @LeastMyHairIsOk, a Twitter user who says they work at Blizzard’s customer support department (via Game Developer). In a Twitter thread, they said the “majority” of Activision Blizzard employees “have no interest” in returning to the office. The worker went on to predict Activision will see a workforce drain if it moves forward with the plan. On top of ongoing worries about COVID-19, @LeastMyHairIsOk alleges the company has failed to address employee concerns about the cost of living in many of the cities where Activision has offices and studios. Specifically, they claim leadership has repeatedly denied requests from “lower earning departments” to include yearly cost-of-living adjustments as part of salary negotiations. “Our most recent meetings from last month suggest that there are no plans for this to change this year,” they added.
Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to Engadget’s questions about its salary policies.
Details on Activision’s return to office plan come amid allegations of union-busting. In January, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) withdrew a petition for a union election at Proletariat, a Blizzard support studio that’s currently working on World of Warcraft: Dragonflight. A CWA spokesperson accused studio head Seth Sivak of holding captive audience meetings that allegedly “demoralized and disempowered” pro-union workers enough that they felt the vote wouldn’t be fair.
Update 1:23PM ET: Added more timely information about King’s return to office arrangement.
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