Moving forward from the pandemic, many employers are sure to be contemplating whether or not remote work is worth continuing. Michail Katkoff, former managing director of Savage Games, has written a new article in response to Deconstructor of Fun’s survey on that very subject: hybrid and remote working within the games industry.
Three in four participants surveyed have been in the industry for more than five years, and almost half have more than a decade’s industry experience. Among those surveyed, 57 percent work on development directly. Executives made up 9 percent of the sample.
Hard at work…?
Of the survey respondents, 37 percent work fully remotely, and this rises to 58 percent if including those who visit the office less than once per week. By contrast, a mere 12 percent work on-site, with the remainder being hybrid workers.
Notably, years spent in the industry did not correlate with remote, hybrid or on-site work, but Katkoff suggests more junior employees would benefit from being on site to develop skills, build a network of contacts and progress in their careers. Furthermore, extra steps are necessary to keep teams aligned when remote working, meanwhile the absence of adhoc communications can make employees "less creative and agile".
In our interview with the CSO of My.Games, Elena Grigoryan, she discussed how crucial it has been for remote workers to have "the right infrastructure and resources in place".
Yet, employees surveyed were overall happy and only 10 percent were actively looking for new jobs. Katkoff notes the positive and negative in this: retention rates are higher for one’s own employees, but hiring new, experienced workers becomes more difficult.
As for what matters most to employees’ satisfaction, 37 percent of those surveyed reported pay as the leading driver. Interesting projects followed at 17 percent, followed by a better work/life balance at 14 percent.
Katkoff adds that among remote workers, diligent employees can end up working too much and getting burnt out, meanwhile less diligent workers have the ability to slack even more.
"I am surprised pay is so important for increased happiness. I’ve never met a person who is happy with their job while being paid handsomely under a bad boss, working on a hopeless project, having a poor work-life balance, and worrying about their job," he writes.
Also surprisingly, executives largely share employees’ positive sentiment on remote working, with more than half of execs in the survey working remotely despite the usual media quotes "mandating more time to be spent at the office".
In his full article, Katkoff expands on how many respondents expect to spend more time in the office and why he believes hybrid is the way to go.
Many companies shifted to remote-first in 2022, including developer and publisher Gismart, citing the war in Ukraine as one factor in its decision.