Flexibility + Collaboration: Imagining the Workplace of Tomorrow by Patrick Naud, Head of Studio

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine how we work.  

In a post-pandemic world, what does it mean to be a colleague, a team, a studio? 

With the vaccination campaign ramping up, over the last months our thought process has shifted from whether we can return to the studio to HOW and WHY we should return.  

We have designed a gradual reopening plan based on employee feedback that aims to provide the benefits of working from home combined with those of in-person collaboration. 

Interacting in person helps foster relationships, build trust, and collaborate more successfully which in turn drives productivity and morale.   

By adopting a hybrid model, we want to maintain the flexibility and improved work/life balance that we have gained over the last 16 months. 

As Square Enix Montréal enters this new phase, we will give ourselves the time to adapt and assess together. We will always listen to our team members’ concerns and be flexible in response to individual needs and life situations. 

PHASE 1  

As things stand today, we plan on gradually reopening the Square Enix Montréal studio for a Phase 1 on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, after Labour Day, for those who wish to return.  

Except for essential roles, anyone who prefers to continue to work remotely full-time in Phase 1 may do so. No one should feel guilty or anxious about preferring to continue working remotely 100% in this phase. 

PHASE 2  

We expect to transition to Phase 2 when we are comfortable that we can do so safely and efficiently. 

In Phase 2, each project will plan 1-2 Collaboration Days a week.  

  • Team members will be invited to join their project at the studio for Collaboration Days.  
  • Collaboration Days will focus on in-person meetings, sprint planning, build reviews, brainstorms, and, of course socializing!    

After over a year of not seeing each other, team lunches will do us a world of good!  

In this test phase, presence at the studio on Collaboration Days will be encouraged but not mandatory.  

By testing a flexible hybrid work model that combines in-person and remote work, we aim to strengthen teamwork and improve efficiency. 

Today, I would have loved to communicate the definitive reopening framework that we would adopt for years to come.  

But no one has all the answers or knows what the future will hold. Implementing a truly effective hybrid work model won’t happen overnight. 

We need to remain adaptable to deliver our projects, hear our team’s concerns, and most importantly ensure their safety and physical and mental well-being. 

Close to 80% of our team is fully on-board with this test-and-learn approach.

To ease this transition, we have confirmed Magic Mondays as a permanent perk of working at Square Enix Montréal, meaning our team gets every second Monday off to unplug and recharge.  

The next few months will be a learning process and a time to listen with empathy.  

Let’s learn together how to build the studio of tomorrow. 

Patrick Naud,

Head of Studio 

 

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