Pokémon Developer Game Freak introduces optional four-day work week

The Pokemon Company
Photo: The Pokémon Company

Game Freak is a development studio that is extremely well known to Nintendo fans, where Pocket Card Jockey on the 3DS is a special standout. Yes, ok, there are also all these hugely successful Pokémon games.

So it’s a company with an important place in the industry, and it’s also unusually busy with consistent Pokémon main series releases. However, Game Freak has confirmed that it is introducing an optional four-day work week for its employees to support those in need of more flexible arrangements.

The scheme is used monthly (which allows for short-term or long-term flexibility), where employees can choose to make a weekday an extra holiday. The press release (Japanese) emphasizes that it is primarily for “full-time employees who raise children under primary school age, or who need family care and care”.

It offers welcome flexibility, although the possibility of a shorter working week will reduce salaries and bonuses when used – a working week of 32 hours (8 hours x 4 days) will lead to 80% of the total salary. It is a pro-rata compromise that some may decide is better suited to their lifestyle or family requirements.

At present, there are a number of shifts and new opportunities being used throughout the gaming industry and broader workplaces where flexible hours, homework and hybrid work are becoming more common.