A senior partner relations manager at Unity has been fired following a tweet critising an exec at the company. This comes shortly after Unity laid off roughly 8% of its total workforce earlier this month.
The tweet in question states: “A Unity exec just shared that they rent a secondary apt in SF to make it easier to be in the office- maybe we should all just do this to make it easier to RTO? This company has lost it. Completely out of touch.”
The poster, Miranda Due, followed up by stating that “renting an apt in SF would cost me over half my gross monthly salary 🙁 Probably 3/4 of my takehome at least”. Roughly two hours later, Due would confirm she was fired.
well i have some time to learn Unreal now 😅
— Miranda Due (@MirandaDue) May 8, 2023
This comes during a tumultuous time for the company. During the layoff announcement, Unity also stated that the company would be expecting staff to return to the office starting in September. Following several years of COVID and lockdowns, workforces across the world switched over to a working-from-home model. Now, with things returning to a relative norm, some companies are looking to bring staff back to their offices.
Why would Unity do this? Well, there are several reasons. Some argue that having the team in-office is better for team cohesion and building rapport among staff. There’s also the cost of office space – companies pay astounding sums on multi-year leases for physical offices. It’s worth noting that Unity has its headquarters based in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities to live in within the USA. It’s safe to assume Unity has been paying a hefty sum over the last few years for empty chairs and meeting rooms.
However, the counter-argument against a return to office is compelling. Apollo technical found from studying 13,000 people thatworking from home improved worker productivity by 13%. You shouldn’t forget the money saved for employees from avoiding commutes into the office on a day-to-day basis, as well as the option to work from a cheaper part of the country (or world) while remaining a valuable, productive member of staff.
Due’s frustrations have been shared by other former Unity staff online followings news of Due’s firing. Whether or not a senior partner relations manager should be openly airing complaints towards their own company or the execs working there is up for debate.
But Due is certainly not the first to air such complaints. Not to mention the statement she claims an executive at the company made – the idea that people can just move to SF given the current recession and world-wide financial struggles is laughable even to those in senior positions right now.
As Unity marches ahead with its planned return to office strategy, we’re bound to see staff who value working from home jump ship at increasing rates. This isn’t a Unity-specific event either, Activision Blizzard also announced an end to its working-from-home policies which has led to numerous developers leaving to take their talent elsewhere.
We’re in the middle of a turbulent period for the industry, where companies like Unity will have to decide whether former staff like Due are valid in frustrations or not, and eat the cost of their decision.
What are your thoughts on this story? Should Due have made those comments online? Was Unity right to fire them? What are your opinions on the shift back to the office? Let us know!