The games industry received a mixed bag of results from the COVID-19 pandemic. While hardware and software sales skyrocketed, development lagged. Square Enix will now give their employees to pick if they want to work from home permanently.
Studios have received numerous delays due to the pandemic—the sudden need to close their studios resulted in shifting resources towards work at home policies. Many video game companies delayed their games as a result.
A third of gaming studios around the world delayed their upcoming titles. Many started working longer hours, reduced income, and even an uptick in stress. It doesn’t help that many have lost their ability to separate work hours from rest hours.
Square is no different, but it seems their employees are coping better. Working from home has its upsides, and Square looks into adding it permanently.
In an announcement post, the Japanese company will allow employees who want to work remotely to do so permanently. Starting December 1, employees who would like to work from home can now do it.
“Rather than utilizing work from home solely as a means of preventing infections during the current pandemic, the Company will establish it as a permanent and core program among the working styles it accommodates,” said the announcement.
“In so doing, the Company hopes not only to create a flexible and diverse working environment, but also to further bolster productivity and help employees achieve the optimal work-life balance.”
Square Enix moving some of its people into work from home roles does not mean they will go into it all the way.
Staff will have a home-based or office-based designation, depending on their duties. Mostly, roles who don’t need specialized studio equipment can do work from home.
Many roles, especially those with practical or security needs, would need to work at the studio. These creatives will likely telecommute, which Square believes 80% of their staff will take advantage of.
Square’s line of thinking is nothing new with the tech industry in general. Many tech firms shifted to work from home when they saw benefits. Lower operating costs, better work-life balance, and more family time are some of the perceived benefits.
Microsoft, for example, announced the same, rethinking how their workspaces work. With that said, Square Enix is looking extra comfortable with their current workplace setup.
Featured image courtesy of Square Enix/Youtube Screenshot
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