That’s one small step for Square Enix Employees, one giant leap for game devs!
Final fantasy developer Square Enix will be enacting a permanent work-from-home program beginning as early as December 1, 2020.
It’s no mystery that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic plays a major factor in this decision as employees around the world have been working remotely for the bulk of the year. Now the Japanese studio said it will allow all executive officers and employees to continue working from the comfort of their homes for the foreseeable future.
Square shares that this program will continue to push for “a flexible and diverse working environment” while rocket-fueling productivity helping employees strike “the optimal work-life balance.”
“The additional options this program creates will also enable the Company to recruit more diverse human resources, as well as to establish an organization capable of adapting to unexpected developments such as disasters and changes in employment models,” reads a company statement.
“By adopting a new style of working for a new world, the Company will enable employees to unleash even greater creativity as it continues to provide its customers around the world with content and services that fulfill their expectations. In so doing, the Company will strive to further enhance its corporate value.”
The survey, conducted in June, reveals that feedback from employees had an overall 80% overwhelmingly positive experience and the plan was finalized upon the results.
The company will still be operating a physical office and at-home employees will work at an office on average two days per week and at-office employees will work two days per week at home. The status will fluctuate based on workload intensity.
This is the first major announcement from a AAA publisher about what the future plans look like with life after COVID-19. The game industry have been mostly resistant about remote working before the pandemic. However, for a Japanese company, no less, to do a complete reversal on their stance is really hopeful of things to come.
One of the proponents of developer’s woes, has been the increase of commuting to game development hubs around the world. An unsustainable, expensive cost for working at the world’s biggest studios and on the biggest franchises. The pandemic have taught executives something creatives have known for quite awhile, that production not only can continue but in some cases thrive under work-from-home conditions. Although, companies won’t be getting rid of offices anytime soon, executives are probably seeing the cost-saving benefits of not having office overheads such as electricity, food, cleaning, etc.
This is exciting news and could be the beginning of many announcements like this from other studios in the coming weeks!