Hybrid Working in gaming

Hybrid working in gaming: will it be phased out in 2024?

Hybrid working remains a hot topic in many industries. In gaming, recent developments have certainly caused a stir and opened up the discussion even further. Will it remain a productive offering to employees or will it be phased out?

Activision Blizzard end hybrid work for QA employees

In a decision called ‘harmful’ by ABK Workers Alliance, Activision Blizzard will be terminating the hybrid working model for all QA employees in January 2024. Currently, this mandate applies to US employees in three states who will be required to return to the office five days a week.

Of course, this has caused quite the debate. Many workers appealed for work from home capabilities to accommodate disabilities, finances and other factors. The workers group feel this will cause distress to employees. They said the decision will result in “many more employees being forced out of the company and into a desperate situation.”

However, a spokesperson from Activision Blizzard countered this. The decision was made “to foster a best-in-class QA function and best deliver for our players.” Can a company really decide how a team, or an individual, works best? Although this development is happening in the USA, it does invite others to consider doing the same. It will be interesting to see if this trend develops further in 2024.

Hybrid working insights – would employees be happy to return to the office?

Our own research in the Gaming & Immersive Salary Survey report sheds light on this topic. Our data showed that in 2023, 71% of gaming & immersive employees were hybrid working. Meanwhile, 50% of leadership teams were doing the same. On both sides, these are significant figures. Should these percentages dramatically shift in 2024, employee retention may become an issue for many gaming studios.

In another blog, we shared what might entice respondents back to the office full time. However, it is interesting to note that 40% of respondents simply shared that nothing would tempt them back to working in the office. With our 2024 questionnaire launching in January, we will be very interested to see what respondents have to say on this. Keep your eyes open for our 2024 report!

Upon further research, a survey by ‘Deconstructor of Fun’ reveals even more insights. Only 12% of respondents reported that they work on-site five days a week. It is interesting to note that 56.8% of their respondents work within the Studio (game development) discipline. Most interesting, however, is that there is no real difference in how people are working when it comes to years of service. One might assume that junior employees would benefit more from increased presence in the office. At the moment, it seems to be a very even distribution across the respondents of this survey.

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