A Square Enix Studio Is Trying Out 4-Day Work Weeks

Will It Be a Change for the Better?

Eidos Montreal, the studio behind the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy title, is putting their own spin on the usual game development process. In an industry plagued with reports of worker abuse and demanding schedules, this Square Enix-owned studio is taking a more relaxed approach, remaining open for one fewer day a week.

The tactic of 4-day work weeks is one that’s been studied and theorized about, and is generally popular among those who think the current system is a bit too taxing. The idea is that, despite the reduced working hours, employees will have more time to rest – resulting in an invigorated work force whose hours worked are more productive than an exhausted crew’s. It’s certainly interesting conceptually, but as you might be able to tell from looking around briefly, it has yet to be adopted by businesses at large. Reasons for this can be speculated on in equal measure, but the best way to find out which system is better is to put it to the test. And Eidos Montreal seeks to do just that.

This shift comes in the wake of the studio switching to a work-from-home environment. Evidently, the change has made everyone – workers and management included – more open to the idea of disrupting the status quo. David Anfossi, the Head of Studio over at Eidos Montreal, described why he was so open to a policy like this: “This initiative is another step towards the embodiment of the studio’s values, building a healthy, creative, and sustainable work environment for our employees.”

“We have been wondering for a while about ‘How can an ecosystem and a company increase their efficiency without compromising the well-being of their employees?”, Alfossi added. “With remote working which has transformed the way we collaborate, we had already started an important cultural transition with the implementation of a rest period, access to a personal financial advisor, access to a telemedicine platform, reimbursement of mental health care and physical activity costs.”