Ubisoft Montreal, one of the French’s companies main branches, behind the development of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 5 – has been accused of leaving staff in “turmoil” after it reportedly reneged on promises that “100% remote work would be possible” forcing all 4,000 of its workers back to the office for a ‘minimum” of two days a week, as of 11th September.
To recall, in June 2021, Ubisoft announced it would be adopting a “hybrid and tailored approach to work arrangements”. In it, staff would be able “to balance in-office work with work from home”. However, according to a new report by IGN, Ubisoft Montreal staff were repeatedly told they could remain 100% remote long-term, leading many to make significant life decisions or accept jobs at the company based on these rules.
“100% remote work will be possible depending on various criteria”, reads an internal Ubisoft document seen by IGN and detailed in its report, “such as productivity and impact on the team, as well as the nature of the work being done”.
Ubisoft Montreal U-Turn in Policy is Enraging Employees
That changed in August when Ubisoft Montreal leadership met with team managers. It insisted all employees must return to the office for a minimum of two days a week. 11th September was Ubisoft’s deadline and there are “no exceptions”. The only leeway would be an eight-week allowance for any employee who could “prove” they needed time to adjust.
In messages posted to Ubisoft’s intranet, the response to the announcement was “almost all” negative. Some employees are really angry at the policy U-turn after buying a house or making other commitments based on the belief full-time home-working would be possible. Others raised health concerns, and even issues surrounding the state of the office.
Currently, Ubisoft is encouraging the staff to speak to their managers in order to find solutions. However, IGN states that there is internal documentation saying exemptions to the two-day return will “only be considered once all other solutions have been explored”. Talking to IGN, Ubisoft insisted “Open and ongoing conversations in addition to extensive individual accommodation and arrangements are currently underway. Their goal is to ease this transition and the impact on everyone’s well-being”. The company states this remains their priority to continue to deliver great games”.