Eidos Montreal, the developers behind Shadow of the Tomb Raider and the upcoming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, are shifting to a shortened work week. Studio head David Anfossi wrote in a blog post that the teams at Montreal and its sister studio in Sherbrooke are making the change to “increase the quality of time” as well as “the productivity and well-being of our employees.”
These are all part of ongoing efforts to build a “healthy, creative, and sustainable work environment” at both studios. The transition to the new schedule will be made in the “next few weeks.” The Montreal and Sherbrooke offices will be closed on Fridays, meaning employees can only come in on Mondays to Thursdays. Employee salaries and working conditions will not be affected.
Anfossi, who served as project lead on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, said the idea is not to condense the existing working hours of work into four days, but rather to review the studio’s working methods with the aim of working better. “Above all, we want to increase the productivity and well-being of our employees.” The hope is to eliminating unnecessary working hours will yield efficient results.
For example, internal meetings will be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes. Pretty sure there are plenty of us who have been in meetings that could have been shorter to make time for actual work, and that change is probably for the best. Another change under these parameters will be for teams to collaboratively “define the parameters and criteria for success” with respect to work and deadlines.
Anfossi said the idea came about during this era of remote working, saying that it has “transformed the way we collaborate” and basically started an important cultural transition within the studios. The new work week will simply be taking the transition a step further in redesigning how employees can be productive while also happier and more satisfied.
Anfossi cited pilot projects around the world that have delivered conclusive results regarding a shortened work week as inspiration, such as in Iceland’s civil service. “We are convinced that this renewed management of working time will help cultivate the creativity and motivation of the teams, and become a real driver of innovation and performance.”
Eidos Montreal won’t be the first studio to adopt a four-day work week though. Young Horses, the small indie dev studio behind Octodad and Bugsnax, adopted the four day work week back in July. Eidos Montreal will be the first AAA studio to do so, though and it remains to be seen if other studios, whether under Square Enix or at other publishers, will follow suit.