After nine months in quarantine, Square-Enix’s Japanese branches will be implementing work from home as an option for almost all its employees beginning December 1.
According to the press release on the matter, the company is going this route both as a means to help prevent spread of the coronavirus, but also as a means to open hiring opportunities to people who can’t move to work at the company’s Tokyo headquarters. It’s almost as if requiring people to move to expensive cities to be employed is an outdated and prohibitive practice, and we really shouldn’t have had to have a global pandemic to help us realize that.
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. 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.
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. 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.
It is worth noting that the nature of some work will require some office roles, as Square-Enix says in its press release, but the company says it expects roughly 80% of its employees to be working from home exclusively by the beginning of the new program next week. But this way employees won’t be required to work at the office, even when we’re not dealing with the coronavirus, and rather than throwing blanket declarations over who and what parts of the company will be allowed to work from home, every individual will be able to make that decision on a case-by-case basis.
It’s unclear at this time if Square-Enix’s North American or European branches will be following Japan’s example.
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Work from home has pretty much become the norm for game development in 2020 as companies look to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to its employees. It has notably hindered some development processes, resulting in a handful of delays over the course of the year like Arkane’s Deathloop, but whatever it takes to keep people safe is worth it. Hopefully more companies across the industry will adopt similar policies, because video games generally congregate in the most expensive cities in the world, so if this can be a means of opening jobs to more people, that’s the route we should all be headed down.