Barcelona-based BANDAI NAMCO Mobile began a four-day working week trial on March 7 2022, which will operate for the next six months. The studio predicts that the new system will not only improve mental health and prevent burnout but also improve the company’s ability to “innovate and break through new barriers in the mobile F2P market”.
The company has been monitoring pilot schemes in various sectors across countries including Canada, Iceland, and the UK. Implementing of the six-month trial period is informed by the outcomes from these pilots, and all salaries and benefits will remain.
Massimo Caporale, chief publishing officer at BANDAI NAMCO Mobile, told PocketGamer.biz: “The case studies have shown that we can operate at the same or higher productivity with a four-day working week.
“Different teams have different needs and schedules. So, in keeping with our culture of giving responsibility to the teams to manage their work and priorities, we let each team take the necessary steps to ensure they can best cope with this change, rather than impose any top-down changes.”
"Significant mental health improvements"
In a blog post published at the time of the announcement, Caporale, added: "Trialling the move to the four-day work week is the next logical step for us to continue striving to reduce stress, increase creativity and enable our teams to do their very best work. This model has shown significant mental health improvements and a reduction of mental health days off by employees, as an industry that has close links with burnout, wellbeing is a top priority for us and has been a key factor in us adopting this change.
"We always strive to create the best possible working environment for our teams, so that in turn they can create fun and engaging experiences for everyone. It’s no surprise then that we have been following with a lot of interest the various trials and initiatives that have been run around the world aimed at improving employees’ work-life balance.
"We expect that focusing our collective energies into our work for four days per week and having a three-day weekend every week should allow us all to be healthier, happier and more creative. As such, we are all super-excited to start this trial and see what we’ll be able to learn in the coming months!"
Several firms within the mobile games industry, including Armor Games and Hutch, have explored the benefits of four-day working weeks. Armor Games' John Cooney gives us his thoughts on the results of their trial and the bespoke adjustments needed to successfully implement a shorter working week.