The pandemic has forced many companies to challenge their ideas about how they make games, especially about having everyone together in offices. Final Fantasy makers Square Enix shifted to working from home this year, and it's gone so well that they're choosing to open this up as a permanent option for many. They say this will let them increase flexibility and diversity, help with work-life balance, and ultimately be more creative. They expect 80% of employees will be working from home when this scheme launches next month. It's pretty great to see such a prolific company being open to this.
To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, in February Square Enix started measures including working from home and staggered hours. Come June, they say, a survey of employees found 80% "had a positive view of work from home". So they've decided to make it a permanent part of their working practices from December 1st.
Squeenix say in the announcement that they hope "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." They add that work from home options will let them "recruit more diverse human resources, as well as to establish an organisation capable of adapting to unexpected developments such as disasters and changes in employment models." And they claim, "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 fulfil their expectations."
Working from home isn't a choice everyone will have, mind. The company will designation each employee either "home based" or "office based", working at least three days a week from their assigned place, and this can change monthly. Some folks will need to be in the office because of the nature of their work, they say. But it's a huge change.
While some work and workers probably are best in a company location, whether for specialised equipment or a collaborative environment, a whole lot of jobs can be done from home if proper accommodations are made. Many businesses are wary of this because of long-held beliefs but apparently, nah, evidence say it's going okay. When we're no longer living under the horrible pressure of a pandemic, it can only get better.