Epic Games stops alternating 4-day work week employee policy

An Epic Games policy that was introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now being removed and it has employees highly upset.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic was in its absolute worst in 2020, there were a lot of policies put in place by companies to try to alleviate the stress of employees and create safer work environments. Epic Games was one such company to do so with the institution of alternating Fridays off, but the company is now shutting down that policy. According to insiders, Epic announced it was going back to regular five-day work weeks and many employees are not thrilled about the decision.

This decision by Epic Games was reported by Bloomberg, with whom sources familiar with the situation shared the details. According to the reports, Epic announced via its employee Slack channels that the alternating Friday off policy was being shelved. Many employees pleaded for the company to reconsider, but Epic’s stance was that some employees were able to take advantage while others were not, creating an unfair environment. Nonetheless, many employees reported that the alternating three-day weekends aided in reducing stress, boosting mental health, allowing better time management out of work, and even boosting productivity on projects at work.

Cancelling the Fortnite World Cup was among the many decisions Epic Games made in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside alternating Fridays off.
Cancelling the Fortnite World Cup in 2020 was among the many decisions Epic Games made in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic alongside alternating Fridays off.

Nonetheless, Epic Games bosses expressed that the policy was never meant to be permanent. It was among a few decisions that included canceling the Fortnite World Cup in 2020 to help maintain safety of players and staff with the intention of eventually allowing employees to take paid time off on their own schedule.

“Right now, we are seeing lots of Fridays off for deep work, and lots of people who must work Fridays anyways,” Chief Operating Officer Daniel Vogel wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg. “This meant that many people were not benefiting from this policy equally.”

Nonetheless, employees have shared annoyance and grief at the idea of the policy going away for all of the good it did. As Epic also deals with the strain of keeping up on one of the largest games in the world on Fortnite, completing work on Unreal Engine 5, and also continuing its heated legal battle with Apple, the company appears to be stretched thin with issues. It will remain to be seen if Epic relents on this particular matter. Stay tuned as we continue to follow the situation for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 22, 2021 12:30 PM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Epic Games stops alternating 4-day work week employee policy

      • reply
        October 22, 2021 10:50 AM

        Those Fortnite skins aren't going to make themselves, wage slave.

      • reply
        October 22, 2021 10:54 AM

        “Right now, we are seeing lots of Fridays off for deep work, and lots of people who must work Fridays anyways,” Chief Operating Officer Daniel Vogel wrote in an email to staff reviewed by Bloomberg. “This meant that many people were not benefiting from this policy equally.”

        But in a survey of 581 employees reviewed by Bloomberg, 93% said they had found the alternating Fridays off to be “extremely beneficial” and 61% said they felt worried, guilty or stressed when taking separate vacation days. Almost 90% of employees said they wanted to keep Fridays off as a standard.


        Guaranteed some execs just "felt" that this was a bad policy based on some personal experience, like a director wasn't available one Friday, or they couldn't get information from someone one time and looked bad in a meeting, so now everyone works Fridays again.

        I would be shocked if there was any productivity data or metrics behind this reversal.

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        October 22, 2021 11:19 AM

        Four day work weeks would improve the economy and our health. I don't know why the hell Americans feel like they have to work themselves to death.

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          October 22, 2021 11:20 AM

          What are you lazy? You don't want to improve yourself? Make more money? Get a nicer house and car? Help the company succeed? Get that quarterly bonus maxed out?

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          October 22, 2021 11:25 AM

          wtf how am I supposed to get into heaven if I dont work every day?

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          October 22, 2021 11:27 AM

          It’s because American Management can’t get off without micromanaging people into the ground

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            October 22, 2021 6:09 PM

            I know I rub my nipples whenever I get to order my workers around!

            Self employed and work alone.

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              October 22, 2021 6:44 PM

              If you pay me money I can rub your nipples for you

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          October 22, 2021 11:53 AM

          God only gave the weekend two days for a reason, son.

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          October 22, 2021 5:55 PM

          I think most workers would welcome a 4-day week, but most workers aren't in a position to make that change and management often doesn't give a fuck about workers' health.

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          October 23, 2021 6:14 AM

          I worked four 10hr shifts with a day off in the middle and it felt like perfection. If you ever had a bad day you were either about to get a day off or were only one away from one. Made stretching vacation days great too as using two days got me a 5 day break which felt like more than enough to recharge the batteries.

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        October 22, 2021 11:27 AM

        That sounds horrible, my place had some weird ass 4 day shifts where people could take monday or friday off and productivity was always in the toilet and any real work was done 3 days of the week cause X was off monday and Y was off friday.

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          October 22, 2021 11:49 AM

          Sounds like poor organization, what do you do if one person is sick for a week? Nothing?

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            October 22, 2021 11:55 AM

            Depending on the task and expertise... pretty much yes for some projects. They ended that shit finally due to work at home and finally started forcing people to have backups and cross training.

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        October 22, 2021 11:28 AM

        4 day work weeks for everyone!!!

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        October 22, 2021 6:11 PM

        We work 4-12s (or the new guys usually work 5 days for a year or so). So there are one or 2 guys off every day. Same day every week.

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        October 23, 2021 5:14 AM

        It used to be 5, but then Thursdays are free.

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      October 23, 2021 4:34 AM

      okay this is exciting :D

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