Companies within and outside of the games industry are becoming increasingly aware of the need for flexible working conditions. And with good reason.
The Meaning of Work report published last month by Indeed revealed that searches for terms including ‘working from home’, ‘flexible work’ and ‘remote work’ were up 116 per cent on its site since 2015. It also claimed that between 2014 and 2019 there had been a 136 per cent increase in the phrase ‘flexible working hours’ in job listings, suggesting employers are responding to the growing demand.
Interestingly, the research suggests that workers who prioritise work-life balance would be happy earning £6,000 less annually than those who are not as concerned with the issue. 57 per cent believed their salary was the most important factor in their work, followed by work-life balance (55 per cent). Work-life balance was considered more important than job security (45 per cent), colleagues (40 per cent), the commute (34 per cent) and more.
Flexible working is particularly important for women who tend to be the primary carers for children. In fact, getting women to join – and stay – in the workplace often requires this flexibility.
But it’s increasingly becoming an important factor across the board. A new report from parenting website Daddilife in association with Deloitte has revealed that more dads than ever (58 per cent) are now actively involved in day-to-day parenting and are looking for workplace flexibility.
Meanwhile, research by Perkbox shows that 83 per cent of new graduates from Generation Z (those born between the mid 1990s and 2000) are looking for flexible hours when researching jobs.
The facts speak for themselves, but it’s also worth noting that multiple pieces of research have proven that employees who are offered alternative working options report higher levels of overall happiness and greater productivity.
Director, Weather Factory
“Weather Factory is a fully remote five-person studio. We offer flexible working to everyone: we all work from home, and we’ve all agreed to work eight-hour days around core working hours of 10.30 to 16.30. This means people can start earlier or later, so long as they’re working and contactable during that central six-hour window.
“We want people to have the flexibility to take their kids to school, go to the dentist or just pop to the shops for some milk. Flexible working makes employees happier and doesn’t set work up as the antagonist of your personal life.”
Co-founder, Harbee Studios and VC, BGI
“A key factor of good company culture is treating each employee as an individual. But you can’t do that if you don’t offer flexible working, as no two employees have the same life situation. I’ve witnessed a shift in the games industry from office-only to flexible working over the past 20 years and I’m a huge advocate of it.
“One game development team I’m currently working with is almost entirely remote. It presents challenges for sure, but they’re no worse than the traditional office-based challenges, they’re just different. It takes trust though, if you’re not the sort of manager that respects and trusts your team, then offering flexible working is going to be challenging for you.”