Epic Games Removes Popular Staff Benefit

Fortnite All Day, Every Day

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a seismic shift in the day-to-day operations of companies around the world. Working from home became standard for over a year, and many firms are offering their employees the option to continue from home should they prefer it.

Epic Games, the tech giant behind Fortnite and the Epic Games Store, introduced a policy that allowed staff to take every second Friday off. According to a report by Bloomberg, Epic repealed this policy earlier this week much to the chagrin of employees.

With the nature of game development relying on “crunch” time to push content out on time, Epic introduced this policy to make up for any overtime endured by staff members. Out of 581 employees, the policy had over a 90% approval rate with approximately the same amount of workers wanting to keep the policy moving forward.

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Epic defended their decision by citing the other employee benefit options they have in place or that they are currently implementing. These benefits include a new “unstructured” Friday schedule, with a mandatory ban on meetings. They also referenced how Epic closes for four weeks out of the year to allow everyone time off without missing anything, in addition to the time staff are allotted to take off. The main two reasons behind the repeal were the policy inequality and the temporary intentions behind it. Epic states that some people had to work on their Friday regardless of the policy in order to meet deadlines, whereas others would take the time off regardless of work deadlines. As a result, some people were working harder while others enjoyed the policy. It was also intended to only be implemented for the duration of the pandemic. Although the pandemic is not over, Epic feels that the added stress from the pandemic has subsided so this time is not mandatory.

With companies such as Bugsnax developer Young Horses and Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos Montreal moving to a 4 day week, Epic isn’t making the most popular move. What do you think about the 4 day work week? Will it benefit everyone all around, or remove equilibrium from society?