Mobile developer Hutch to trial a 4 day working week

London-based mobile developers Hutch is set to trial a 4 day work week, according to a report from The Guardian.

As part of the trail, The Rebel Racing developer will be moving from a 40 hour work week to 32 hours with no decrease in pay for 6 months.

The trial is being run by academics at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, alongside their US counterparts Boston College and thinktank Autonomy. It will be overseen by campaign group 4 Day Week Global.

Hutch CEO Shaun Rutland, who we spoke to about the studio’s culture back in October, said that he started the company with a “no crunch” policy, and hoped for improvements in productivity and worker health, a boost to gender equality and “a more sustainable work environment.”

While in our interview with Rutland has underlined the need to “treat people like humans,” he also noted that studios would need to treat their staff better in order to attract and maintain the best talent – which seems likely to have motivated this move too.

“There used to be less jobs than there were people applying for jobs in games,” Rutland told us in October. “So that scarcity of jobs meant that employees put up with terrible working conditions.

“Whereas now, the games industry is under so much pressure – if you talk to any developer, the number one problem is hiring quality talent. There’s now a scarcity of people versus opportunities. That’s why we’re seeing such a huge shift in the work environment changing, it’s business driven.”

The industry has had an increased interest in the 4 day work week in recent months, as studios move to tackle the crunch crisis. Back in November last year, Amiqus’ Liz Prince spoke to Mighty Kingdom’s CEO Philip Mayes about their switch to a four-day week.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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