A video game company is adopting a 4-day workweek after a unanimous staff vote

February 11, 2022, 5:34 PM UTC

After experimenting with a four-day workweek, video game company Blackbird Interactive announced this week that it was moving permanently to the new schedule. 

The company experimented with giving employees four-day workweeks from September to December in 2021 in an effort to reduce the effects of overworking and decrease burnout. By the end, workers voted unanimously to keep this schedule forever, the Washington Post reported

As companies grapple with the effects of the Great Resignation, they are more seriously discussing four-day workweeks as a way to recruit and retain talent. But Blackbird’s announcement is particularly significant given the video game industry’s reputation for notoriously long workdays. 

Blackbird did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment. 

Some employees from video companies like Rockstar Games reportedly work 100-hour weeks to meet release dates. And one video game developer for Mortal Kombat 11 reported a PTSD diagnosis after continuously working on the incredibly violent and bloody video game.  

“When people get stressed out and burned out, you can’t really treat it. They need to take a big chunk of time off, and even then, they come back frazzled. We’re looking at how we can prevent this in an ongoing way,” Blackbird CEO Rob Cunningham told the Washington Post

After scheduling a three-month trial of four-day workweeks, 100% of the 51 developers surveyed by Blackbird said they wanted to permanently switch to a four-day workweek, the Post reported. 

Around 91% of surveyed developers said the reduction in employee working hours improved their work/life balance, and 90% believe the new change would be linked to higher retention rates, the Post reported. 

Blackbird Interactive will have four-day workweeks through all of 2022. Workers are now expected to work from Monday to Thursday and to take Fridays off.  

Company policy now mandates that if any employee decides to come in on Fridays, they must be compensated with a different day off for leisure, Blackbird chief creative officer Rory McGuire told the Washington Post

“If anyone is working [on] a Friday more than a few times a year,” said McGuire to the Post, “that’s very strong evidence we need to look at our organization to figure out where the process is failing.”

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