The coronavirus pandemic has been responsible for a huge overhaul for many sectors of the world’s economy, mainly in regards to employees having to work from home in order to protect themselves from the virus and maintain social distancing guidelines. This includes Electronic Arts employees, who the company isn’t rushing to return.
EA had some advance warning of how badly the coronavirus was going to affect them when their offices in China and Korea began to become infected, and so they were able to prepare themselves better for social distancing than many other companies did.
Currently, all 9,700 employees of the publisher are working from home, and despite the difficulties that come with developing a game being exacerbated by the distance, EA is taking a very cautious approach in when it will ask its employees to return to the office.
When they do return to the office en masse, it’s likely that Electronic Arts employees will still be more distant than before, with fewer employees on each floor of their offices and common areas like coffee rooms being changed around.
The pandemic has taught EA, much like it has taught many other businesses and game studios, that working from home isn’t all bad and that there are a great many things that can be done from the comfort of someone’s home. This is beneficial not just for the company, but employees as well.
Many employees who would otherwise face a long commute, for instance, can now do all of their work without ever having to leave their homes, cutting down on gas and travel time expenses. But currently EA and Electronic Arts employees are all discussing exactly how the company should operate once it returns to work.
No one has any idea of how long this pandemic will last, and EA is one of multiple companies that doesn’t want to be caught in the middle of a second wave just as they think it’s done with. Either way, we’ll just have to see what the future brings not just for the company but games as a whole.