The length of the workweek has long been a focus as companies demand more from their employees. In the video games industry in particular, crunch has been the subject of much discussion, seeing developers often putting in more than five days a week, and well over eight hours a day. Tomb Raider reboot and Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos Montreal is fighting back, however, shifting the company culture to a four-day workweek and offering three days off per week. In fact, both Eidos Montreal and Eidos Sherbrooke are adopting this model. This means that the studio will close on Fridays, while employees’ salaries will not be impacted by the change.
We’re continuing to adapt our studio to the new realities of work. After remote working and the hybrid model, we’re shifting to the 4-day work week! A better work-life balance for even more innovative games. Details https://t.co/1AaVJFwCLX
— Eidos-Montréal (@EidosMontreal) October 7, 2021
Head of Studio David Anfossi answered a number of questions about the big change. Namely, the company is not going to try to shove a 40-hour workweek into four days. This is cutting out one day of work, focused on giving employees a better work/life balance, which they believe will build a more “healthy, creative, and sustainable work environment.” Closing the studio on Fridays will reduce the 40-hour week to 32.
Rather than condensing more work into less time, Anfossi says this will cause the studio to review how it’s currently doing things, and adapt to investing more quality time. “Concretely, we want to reduce the time at work, but increase the quality of this time invested.” Part of this is also in reducing internal meetings from one hour to 30 minutes in order to handle things more quickly and efficiently, rather than wasting hours.
Discussion really began with the advent of remote work, thanks to the Covid pandemic. This already transformed the way Eidos Montreal (and many others) work, so it made sense to them to try to adjust other working parameters during this time of change. This change comes in addition to other employee wellness benefits like “the implementation of a rest period, access to a personal financial advisor, access to a telemedicine platform, reimbursement of mental health care and physical activity costs.”
Vice noted that there’s no word on how this shift internally will impact outsourcing and contract workers, who may still be subject to long hours and extended workweeks.
Eidos Montreal’s workweek changes come amid a lot of other changes happening at companies to ensure developers have a better work/life balance, and also feel respected by the place they work for. Destiny developer Bungie is removing the mandatory arbitration clause from its employee contracts, while Bugsnax studio Young Horses is also implementing a four-day workweek.
[Source: Eidos Montreal]