Square Enix, the studio behind the Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Tomb Raider games, says it’ll allow most of its employees in Japan to work from home permanently. The policy comes into effect on December 1st and will see its employees designated as either “home-based” or “office-based.” In its announcement, the company says it expects around 80 percent of its employees to be designated as home-based from December. The company tells The Verge that the policy is specific to its offices in Japan.
The company gives a number of reasons for making the policy permanent. These include creating a “flexible and diverse working environment,” helping employees “achieve the optimal work-life balance,” and helping to “bolster productivity.” It also hopes the policy will help it better adapt in the future, whether it’s to disasters or just new employment models.
Although employees will be sorted into home-based and office-based, it sounds like they’ll have some flexibility with where they work. Being home-based means an employee works from home for at least three days a week on average, or vice versa for office-based workers. Employees can change their status on a monthly basis, and are involved in the discussion about where their role should be based. Some employees will need to be based in an office, depending on the work they’re doing, Square Enix says.
The company says it first implemented its work-from-home policy in February in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside other initiatives like staggered working hours and online conferencing. It adds that 80 percent of its employees said they had a positive view of working from home when surveyed.
Square Enix joins an expanding list of companies which have pledged to continue to allow many employees to work from home even after it’s no longer necessary on health grounds. Twitter announced its permanent work-from-home policy in May, while Facebook said that up to half of its employees could be working remotely permanently within five to 10 years. Microsoft made a similar announcement last month.
Update November 26th, 11:50AM ET: Updated to clarify that Square Enix’s new policy is specific to its offices in Japan.