Ubisoft Outlines Return-To-Office Plans For Its Employees

Ubisoft's return-to-office plans suggest that fully remote work will only be allowed for a small number of employees.

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Update: Ubisoft has responded to our initial story, saying it is taking a "hybrid approach" to working from home versus an office. The decision for a particular role to be remote or in-office (or a mixture of the two) will not entirely be up to employees, however, as Ubisoft explains in the statement below. In addition to this, the publisher has shared its internal message sent to employees on the Ubisoft website.

"After conducting surveys and consulting teams across the organization, Ubisoft has decided to implement a hybrid approach to work arrangements that will enable the majority of employees to spend time both working from the office and working from home," Ubisoft's statement reads. "To account for the variety of job families, locations, and preferences of our teams around the world, each studio or office will tailor its policies to its respective needs. Going forward, we plan to continuously monitor and adapt this framework to ensure we are achieving our goals of having healthy and happy teams and maximizing our collective efforts to create innovative, great games for our players."

Original story follows...

Like most companies, Ubisoft has been operating with a fully remote workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company's re-opening plan has now been leaked and suggests that most employees will need to return to working in the office at least part of each week.

As reported by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, Ubisoft sent an email around to its employees this week detailing when and how employees will return to the office. The company will implement a "hybrid and tailored approach" to work, which seemingly means that at least some work from the office will be expected. Ubisoft will only allow a few employees to continue on in a fully remote capacity.

Although the reasoning for this requirement has not been confirmed, there are a number of possible explanations. Schreier suggests that a significant incentive for moving back to an office-centric work model is that Ubisoft has a tax deal with the city of Montreal for locating one of its big offices there. This deal may have a stipulation that employees have to actually be located in the city.

However, another possible motivation for requiring on-site work is that the pandemic and the move to remote work has had a significant negative impact on game development, especially at the AAA level. Although many independent and smaller studios already had experience creating games with geographically dispersed teams, AAA studios were used to centralized workforces. Ubisoft had to delay a few releases, likely in part due to the effects of the change.

Meanwhile, Ubisoft is gearing up for what looks to be a big E3 week. Its Ubisoft Forward event will have news about several of its upcoming titles including Rainbow Six Extraction and Riders Republic. Here's how to watch Ubisoft Forward this weekend, and be sure to check out our roundup of all the E3 2021 livestreams that are currently scheduled.

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