The change comes after a four-day work week was trialled at the studio (thanks, Axios) in July as part of a unanimous decision. Co-founder and president Phil Tibitoski told Axois “if we’re all happier to be at work because we’re well-rested, I think we’re going to be better off in the long run.”
The eight person team was already set to work 35 hours a week, so the reduction to four-day weeks has only lost each member three hours. “Might as well give people the peace of mind that they can relax doing their own thing on their own time than have someone feel guilty for doing it at work,” added Tibitoski.
“We know what we have to get done and by when, or we’re making our own schedule entirely and things get done when they get done.”
Indie studio @YoungHorses has switched to a four-day work week and so far is still feeling productive. They say this works, especially for a small team, @Megan_Nicolett reports https://t.co/bKQw4rUlW9
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) September 8, 2021
“It was easier for us to implement because to measure our small team’s output is simple relative to those bigger studios, so our trial period and decision-making is faster than a studio who has to get buy-in from so many departments and investors,” he continued.
Tibitoski also said that four-day work weeks are possible at larger studios but that they need to “buy-in from the top and their goals/processes/expectations have to be adapted to support the change.”
The change holds particular relevance after developers on both Psychonauts 2 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart came out publicly to say that both teams didn’t participate in crunch – which is when severe working conditions come into play due to the need to meet deadlines – as it is a fairly common industry occurrence.
In other news, a developer on the original Metroid Prime has said on a podcast that the game had a “death march” towards the end of development to get the game finished, and that Nintendo stepping in is what improved the company culture.