Journalist Jason Schreier asked game developers to share their experience of how remote work has affected them since the beginning of the pandemic. While some people noticed that they become more efficient, the others opened up about being less productive.
There were two questions that Jason Schreier asked on Twitter. The first one was about efficiency, and the second one was about if companies are now more accommodating to remote work.
Video game developers, now that we’ve all been home for a year, two things I’d love to hear your perspectives on:
1) Is your team now as efficient as it was pre-pandemic? More? Less?
2) Has your company shown any willingness to be more accommodating to remote work post-pandemic?
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 17, 2021
A lot of people became less efficient due to the pandemic
Everyone is less efficient, because people are dealing with a vast array of physical and mental health complications arising from the pandemic. They’d also be less efficient in an office right now, full stop.
— Kevin Hovdestad (@lackofrealism) March 17, 2021
1) Way less efficient but it’s getting better. Communications has suffered a lot and is hard to improve though
2) We’ve developed a lot of WFH practises that will live on long after the pandemic is over but I don’t think permanently working remotely will ever be an option
— Patrik Wennersten (@fatshark_tazar) March 17, 2021
We’re definitely a lot less productive due to all of my staff’s babies & kids staying home instead of being in daycare or school.
— Ken Seto (@kenseto) March 17, 2021
Some devs saw remote work increasing their efficiency
Business as usual where I work (Night Dive Studios). We were 100% virtual before the pandemic, and there was no disruption when covid arrived. We’ve got full release line up coming over the next 18 months so id say if anything we are more efficient now.
— MVG (@ModernVintageG) March 17, 2021
1) There are difficulties in some areas but overall the team I am in is as efficient, maybe slightly more efficient, than before the change to 100% WFH.
2) The company has been very accommodating, allowing employees to even move back to their home countries and cont. from there.
— Lennart Daldrup (@LennartDaldrup) March 17, 2021
Other respondents said their efficiency stayed on the same level
I want to modulate though, that the team is highly productive and the potential minimal loss in productivity is mainly due in knowledge sharing and onboarding new people. In terms of production, a lot is the same and we managed to ship a game in a very good shape “despite” WFH
— Vincent Hubau (@VincentHubau) March 17, 2021
1) We’ve been working remotely for 10 years already, so this pandemic hasn’t affected us in much ways regarding efficiency. We are just as efficient as we’ve always been.
2) We believe a flexible schedule and working remotely are great ingredients for a better life/work balance.
— SuperMegaTeam (@SuperMegaTeam) March 18, 2021
1) Pretty similar overall. Some things are noticeably more efficient while others noticeably less efficient.
2) Yep, both my previous and current employer (changed during the pandemic) have directly stated they plan to provide more WFH options going forward.
— Alexander (@ForNowAlexander) March 17, 2021
Some people believe that remote working is bad for communication and brainstorming
I don’t believe that working at home is effective. It’s ok for routine job, maybe for content makers but I think it’s not that good for the team, brainstorming. When you are near to each other you not only speak but can feel other people. That means a lot.
— Pixeye Games 🕹️ (@PixeyeHQ) March 17, 2021
1) Some things are easier, like taking notes during meetings and using screen share to show stuff. Some things are harder like having any conversations outside of scheduled meetings and using whiteboards.
2) We’re not post-pandemic yet, so we’ll see. No decisions yet.
— Ben Pielstick (@BenPielstick) March 17, 2021
Also, freelancers found out that finding work became a lot easier, as more companies are now opening remote job offerings. One of the respondents even said that their studio happened only because of the pandemic, so working from home is their standard now.
As a freelancer it’s actually made finding work a lot easier. Normally I’d have to move closer to a studio to work with them. My current team has always worked remotely (they’re based in the US) and things run really smoothly with them.
— ✨ Sammi McEwan ✨ (@McSammi) March 17, 2021
Our entire studio pretty much happened because of the pandemic so from the very beginning we have been remote and continue to work with devs around the world efficiently✨
— Star (@StarlightSkyes) March 17, 2021
Not directly but related: As a freelance writer and consultant, my work almost tripled last year from 2019. With everyone remote anyway it meant more companies could get outside help without flying them out to their offices. Can’t say for sure but I bet this plays into budgets.
— Alexa Ray Corriea (@AlexaRayC) March 17, 2021
To sum things up, there is obviously no universal answer, because a lot of people are still adapting to the new world we all have entered. Of course, remote work has its own pros and cons, and they can differ from company to company (or just based on different people’s perspectives, preferences, and experiences).
However, we can see remote work becoming the new normal across the world, with some companies working 100% from home, while others trying to implement some hybrid work systems.