A Ubisoft company email indicates plans for the return to in-person work at its offices around the world and the elimination of remote work.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset around March 2020, Ubisoft has announced a confirmed plan to get employees back to in-person work. Like the rest of the world, Ubisoft has embraced remote work for more than a year. However, as vaccination levels increase and governmental guidelines loosen, the end of the pandemic’s worst economic effects may be near.
The surge of remote work and online collaboration has taken its toll on the world. Mental health has become a more important topic perhaps than ever before. Naturally, humans are social creatures, and everybody has felt the effects of not being able to interact with their peers face-to-face. Over the past year, some game developers opened up about remote work, having now had the experience to draw from. Simply put, remote work is far from ideal, and it has taken some companies extra effort to ensure that their employees receive the proper mental health resources and support to keep from burning out.
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As one of the gaming’s largest publishers, Ubisoft likely has taken a lot of similar COVID safety measures. Within the company, though, these measures aren’t seen as long-term solutions. Jason Schreier, a Bloomberg game journalist, has indicated that Ubisoft is making steps towards returning to in-person work. The Ubisoft offices are intended to “remain a core pillar of the Ubisoft experience.” Furthermore, Ubisoft will reportedly only be allowing a “small number” of people to continue working completely from home. This could help the development and production of Ubisoft’s upcoming free-to-play games like The Division Heartland and AAA titles that are on the horizon, including the recently renamed Rainbow Six Extraction.
Ubisoft emailed staff today saying that it plans to take “hybrid and tailored approach” to working and that “the office will remain a core pillar of the Ubisoft experience.” Only a “small number” of people will be able to work completely remotely moving forward.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) June 7, 2021
Unfortunately, returning to Ubisoft offices may not be the attractive option that it’s made out to be for some employees. The company is still in the wake of several sexual misconduct allegations, and it’s a bit difficult to get a beat on whether or not there’s been sufficient improvements at the company. While CEO Yves Guillemot claims progress has been made, others are not so convinced. Reports to the contrary say Ubisoft hasn’t changed much and that things aren’t much better than they were when the allegations first surfaced. Such accusations are serious, and employees could hardly be blamed for their hesitation at returning to those kinds of working conditions in-person.
While Ubisoft and other companies fully intend to bringing employees back to their offices, some studios have fully embraced remote game development. This marks a significant schism in the industry as the potential end of the pandemic nears, apslit that sees some companies returning to the status quo and others trying to adapt remote work into their future plans. While perhaps not ideal for mental health, remote work does allow for the industry to look further and wider than ever before for talented game designers and developers. Regardless, Ubisoft seems to have made its position on the subject quite clear. In the coming months, more reports of similar or contrary policies will likely continue to surface.
Source: Jason Schreier/Twitter
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