Ikea to Hire Virtual Staff for £13 an Hour in Roblox Metaverse Store

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Taking remote working to a novel dimension, Ikea is offering £13 an hour for ten employees to assist in its new virtual store on Roblox.

These virtual roles will involve tasks such as guiding customers and serving digital meatballs, blending the realms of gaming and employment.

Set to launch soon, Ikea’s digital shop on Roblox will employ staff to help customers navigate the store and select furniture. “Fans will be able to live their home furnishing dreams and get paid for it,” the job advert promises.

Prospective employees must first tackle a unique questionnaire, posing challenges like, “How do you feel about being turned into pixels?” and “What would you do if we ran out of pixelated hot dogs in our bistro?” Shortlisted candidates will then undergo virtual interviews.

Ikea is the pioneer retailer to offer paid positions on Roblox, aiming to attract young talent to their real-world workforce. Roblox, a platform where users can play and create games, boasts over 77 million daily active users, with a significant portion aged 17-24. Popular games on the platform often involve work roleplays, aligning well with Ikea’s recruitment strategy.

The Roblox Ikea story is laid out just as it would be in any other location

The Co-Worker Game, as Ikea has named its virtual employment experience, promises opportunities for virtual workers to hone their skills, assist customers, and gain promotions within the digital store.

Ikea’s initiative will see ten candidates working in various store sections like the showroom and bistro. These roles offer chances to win exclusive user-generated content (UGCs) and more. The company will pay the London-based rate of £13.15 per hour, with applications open to individuals over 18 from the UK and Ireland.

Despite the seemingly enticing job offer, social media reactions have been mixed, with some expressing disbelief. One user joked on Twitter/X about quitting their real job, while another on TikTok humorously suggested turning off the wifi if annoyed by a customer.

The virtual store opening on June 24 follows a trend of brands seeking younger audiences through digital platforms. Walmart, for instance, recently launched a virtual store on Roblox. Digital items also fetch high prices on the platform, as evidenced by Adidas selling a digital necklace for the equivalent of $20,000.

Roblox, valued at $25 billion and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021, has faced scrutiny alongside its success. The platform is currently contesting lawsuits in the US over issues like facilitating illegal gambling and exposing children to explicit content.

Hayfa Mohdzaini, a technology research adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, commented on the innovative approach: “Employers creating virtual workplaces dates back to 2006 with IBM in Second Life. Ikea’s paid virtual roles take this concept further, integrating elements of in-store work online. It’s an intriguing strategy that we expect more employers to explore.”

Darren Taylor, Ikea UK and Ireland’s country people and culture manager, added, “We’re excited to be the first brand to offer paid work on Roblox, showcasing our unique career philosophy. At Ikea, there is no set route to career progression, allowing co-workers to explore various roles both in the game and real life.”

Winnie Burke, head of fashion, luxury, beauty, and retail partnerships at Roblox, noted, “Retail brands continue to push boundaries on Roblox, engaging a deeply involved Gen Z community.”

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