2020 has been, for lack of a better word, a difficult year for all of us, including the video game industry. Due to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced people to isolate themselves for fear of contracting the virus, game developers had to adapt and look for alternative ways to efficiently work on games in a remote setup.
After how many months of working from home and finally adjusting to that kind of work environment, Square Enix has recently announced that it will be offering a brand-new arrangement to its employees.
The announcement was published as a press release on Square Enix’s website, which stated that it will be implementing a permanent work from home arrangement. This program will be open to all staff members, from employees to executive officers.
This decision puts Square Enix alongside the list of developers that are currently working remotely, including Bungie, Rockstar Games, and so much more. This permanent program will begin as of December 1. As such, the company expects that more or less 80% of its employees will work from home throughout December.
Square Enix’s employees will be sectioned into two categories. “Home-based” employees will be working around three days a week from the safety of their homes, while “office-based” employees will work an average of three days a week from the company’s office.
All of the employees that are eligible for this program will be designated as “home-based.” Meanwhile, depending on the kind of work, division heads will keep some employees working in the office.
Square Enix states in the published press release that this program 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.”
Not only that, but the company also believes that this kind of arrangement will be a great way to “further bolster productivity and help employees achieve the optimal work-life balance.”
Hopefully, having employees work from home will help prevent mandatory crunch time or at least make the unhealthy practice easier for the staff.
The development of countless games has been affected because of COVID-19, resulting in the developers making the difficult decision to delay release dates. It’s not only video games that were affected, though — movies and other forms of entertainment were impacted as well, as workers were forced to work from home.
Square Enix began its work from home program all the way back in February, which is great because it meant that the company didn’t wait until the virus was already widely spread. That being said, the studio had an internal survey and the results showed that 80% of Square Enix’s staff were greatly pleased by their remote experience.
At the moment, Square Enix has a couple of highly-anticipated games that are currently still in development. As you may or may not know, the studio is hard at work developing both Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2.
Plus, it was recently announced that the sequel to the classic DS title, The World Ends with You, will finally be getting a sequel next year. While it’s great that the developer cares for the health and safety of its employees, we hope that this arrangement won’t slow down the development of its upcoming titles.