Remote work has been the norm throughout almost all of 2020. Now, for Final Fantasy developer Square Enix, that appears to be continuing indefinitely.
Square Enix is best known for its string of world renowned RPG titles like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest. The Japanese developer, like just about all other gaming companies, has had to adjust its workstyle to fit social distancing measure necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, many of Square’s employees have been working remotely from the comfort of their homes. But, as of December 1, the option to work from home will become permanent, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is a thing of the past.
The new policy was officially announced on November 25. Square stated that, moving forward, they will have two working systems.
The first will be home-base, where employees will work from their homes for at least three days per week. Then, there will be an office-base, where employees will commute to the Square Enix headquarters, located in the Shinjuku Ward of downtown Tokyo.
Square’s plans call for home-base to be the default work environment for both the rank-and-file employees and executives. This includes Square Enix Holdings, as well as is subsidiary Luminous Productions.
Office-base will be used based on necessity. This will be determined by the nature of certain products and decisions made by team leaders. It is possible that a workers’ status can change from home-base to office-base on a monthly basis.
According to Square, its goal for this new policy is to give staff members an improved balance between work and life while also improving overall productivity. This will also allow Square to employ people who live outside of the Tokyo area, creating more of a global workforce.
Game developer morale can have a huge impact on the final product they are producing. Square noted this by stating that this new vision for remote work will “ensure the necessary creativity and productivity to deliver the highest-quality entertainment.”
This change in policy is coming at a time when Square is ramping up production on a number of huge titles. The company is currently developing Final Fantasy XVI for the PlayStation 5. It is also hard at work creating the second chapter of the much heralded Final Fantasy VII Remake. The company is also working on new The World Ends with You and Neir titles.
Square has stated that it is confident in its decision. Approximately 80% of the Square Enix workforce will be working from home as of this December.
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