Last year we announced in a blog post that GLITCHERS was permanently moving towards a 4 day work week structure. 5 months on, we’re taking a look back at the impact our new working structure has had on the company.
WHAT IS A 4 DAY WORK WEEK?
The 4 day work week is a part of a global movement to increase not just productivity but also encourage a healthier work-life balance and lower stress levels. Put simply: instead of working Monday – Friday, we work Monday – Thursday then log off for the weekend.
This follows the Parkinson’s Law which states that work expands to fill time available, and the 80/20 Principle shows that 80% of productivity is achieved in 20% of our time. The last time society changed it’s working structure in the same way was in the early 1900s, when unions advocated for a reduction from the 6 day work week down to 5. We’ve come a long way since the 1900s – advancements in technology and efficiency to name a few. So it raises a question: Why are people still working the same patterns from over 120 years ago?
2021 was a difficult year that saw a lot of traditional working structures change around the world as many businesses went fully remote. During this time, Spain announced a voluntary nationwide three year trial of a 4 day work week, and New Zealand, Finland and Japan are considering the same.
4 DAY WORK WEEK IN VIDEO GAMES
One of the biggest challenges in the video game industry is the dreaded ‘crunch’ which has become all too common across companies big and small. Crunch is a term used to describe compulsory overtime, often leading to weeks as long as 60-100 hours. According to a study done by Take This in 2019, 53% of game developers say that crunch is an expected part of their employment. (source)
One of the ways in which the industry can do better is to reassess work-life balance for their teams, and a 4 day work week is a common way of reducing hours. Several other game development studios have already made the first step and implemented a shorter work week – from indie game developers like Bugsnax and Kitfox to large, triple A studios like Eidos Montreal to great success.
For us, 2021 was a year of many transformations. To begin with, we relocated from our London office to Edinburgh. With a decentralised working structure, it allowed us to hire on many new team members who are located not just across the UK, but across the world. As a result, it felt right to take this a step further and trial the 4 day work week to give the team the freedom and peace of mind to work smarter, not harder.
After the one month trial, we saw that even though our time had been reduced, the quality of this time went up and productivity was as high as ever. During the trial, the team was working on a number of projects from prototypes for our own IP games and several external projects and pitches at various stages in the development process. Every deadline was met, no overtime worked, and the team self-reported that their mental health was better than ever. Most importantly, there was more headspace to catch things earlier, before they became bigger issues, as attention was more readily available.
“Switching to a 4 day work week gives us time to reset and recharge on Fridays. When you’re working creatively, rest is invaluable to ensure we can continue to produce high quality ideas and output”Mairi, Game Designer at GLITCHERS
IS A 4 DAY WORK WEEK FOR YOU?
If you’re deciding if a 4 Day Work Week is right for you and your business, our advice is to trial the 4 day work week at both busy and quiet periods for your business to see what kind of an impact it can make. 4 Day Week Global has plenty of resources to get you started.
WANT TO JOIN GLITCHERS?
GLITCHERS are a highly motivated, talented team that punch well above their weight in terms of quality and output. Want to join us and work on an exciting array of projects in the games and mental health space?
Head to glitchers.com/job-openings to view our current and upcoming job openings and apply
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