While video game designers have the reputation of not counting their hours, Eidos studios in Montreal and Sherbrooke are getting ready to count their days: they are reducing the workweek to four days, with no reduction in pay.
Posted on October 7, 2021 at 8:45 a.m.
Their 500 employees – about 460 in Montreal and 40 in Sherbrooke – will work 32 hours rather than 40, keeping their normal eight-hour day.
“We did not wake up one morning saying to ourselves: ‘we are making a transition to four days of work per week,’ recounts David Anfossi, head of the Eidos-Montreal studio. This is an idea that came to mind in 2019. ”
He then learned about a similar experience at Microsoft Japan, which had yielded tangible and measurable results.
The arrival of the pandemic, however, forced the company to take an interest in another aspect of its culture: working at home. “Something we were ready for,” he said. We were in the process of finalizing our tests so that we could work from anywhere. ”
Telecommuting has been implemented for all employees, who can work entirely from home if they wish.
During the pandemic, the company implemented various measures of well-being and work-family balance for its valuable employees, whose average age is around 33 years: cooking lessons, gardening, psychological support, financial advice, etc.
Like many others, Eidos has found that this flexibility increases employee productivity.
“But this increase was not reflected in the results of the studio and the performance of the teams,” says David Anfossi.
Ironically, the proven four-day week in Japan might correct the situation, they thought.
“But as in any great cultural change, it is membership, in fact, that is a challenge. ”
However, adherence to a reduction in the working week does not seem difficult to obtain.
“Yes, it may sound nice, but there is a challenge that comes with that, that of getting organized so that your 32 hours are efficient,” he replies. There is a lot of communication, everyone is involved in the success of this transition. ”
For the implementation of the shortened week, each service prepares a proposal for improving its efficiency over four days.
Long afternoon videoconferencing meetings are one example.
“If we organize ourselves during our meetings in the morning and that we work in the afternoon on our own files or in groups on the production of content, we have just given ourselves interesting solutions in terms of efficiency. ”
An attractive measure
Founded in 2007, the Montreal studio took six years to reach a workforce of nearly 450 employees, which has been relatively stable since then.
But the video game market is still seeing the emergence of new players, despite the shortage of experts.
“It’s the auction, we won’t hide it,” says David Anfossi. It’s very difficult. The retention rate and the recruitment rate are also part of the data that will be measured through this initiative. ”
If the results are not up to par, the company is not closing the door on turning back the clock.
“Except that we want to embark 100%. We are in a real transition, everyone believes in it, and that is why we have defined measurement criteria. During this evolution and in the tests that we are going to do, we will be able to measure what works and what works much less well. But the goal is to come up with solutions. ”
“We will see if we can do it and how to do it, but it is surely an experience that we would like to share with the industry,” he adds. Regardless of industries, for that matter. ”
Soon at your place, maybe …