Press Start Leadership Podcast

Transforming Studio Culture with the 'Work a Hard Eight' Philosophy

August 28, 2023 Press Start Leadership Season 1 Episode 109
Press Start Leadership Podcast
Transforming Studio Culture with the 'Work a Hard Eight' Philosophy
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Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered how to keep the creative energies of your gaming studio flowing without the notorious grind of crunch culture? We've got some game-changing insights for you in this episode of the Press Start Leadership Podcast. We tackle the 'Work a Hard Eight' philosophy, a radical approach to work culture that says no to relentless deadlines and unpaid overtime. We reveal how this simple yet effective philosophy, advocating for eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of personal life, can drastically boost productivity and overall well-being in your studio.

This isn't just talk. We go beyond discussing the concept to help you implement the 'Work a Hard Eight' philosophy in your studio. We provide practical, step-by-step guidance on setting clear work expectations, promoting a healthy work environment, and leading by example. It's all about creating a balanced, productive, and fulfilling work culture that values the health, creativity, and productivity of your team. So gear up to challenge the status quo, transform your work culture, and level up your studio with this episode of the Press Start Leadership Podcast. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Your team's well-being is the real game-changer.

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Speaker 1:

Hey there, press starters and welcome to the Press Start Leadership podcast, the podcast about game changing leadership, teaching you how to get the most out of your product and development team and become the leader you were meant to be leadership coaching and training for the international game industry professional. Now let me introduce you to your host, the man, the myth, the legend, christopher Mifsud.

Speaker 2:

Hey there, press starters and welcome back to another awesome edition of the press start leadership podcast. On this week's episode, we'll be discussing work a heart eight. Leveling up your game studios, work culture, achieving balance and boosting productivity the secret power up for success in the gaming industry. If you're into gaming and development, chances are you've come across the phrase work a heart eight. But if the term sounds as mystifying as a hidden Easter egg in a complex RPG, fear not. This concept is the equivalent of understanding the respawn points in a frantic FPS. It's all about understanding the rules of the game. In the industry of game development, work a heart eight is a philosophy, a work ethos that emphasizes balance, specifically working eight hours, sleeping eight hours and having eight hours for your personal life. It's a rebuff against the infamous crunch culture that's been plugging the industry with successive overtime, relentless deadlines and sheer burnout. So what can we learn from a work a heart eight philosophy and how can it help transform our studios and the havens of productivity and well being? Grab your controllers, folks, because we're about to take a deep dive into the game of work life balance in the industry, the anti crunch crusade. Understanding work a heart eight. The work a heart. Eight philosophy is more than just a catchy slogan. It's a call to action against an unhealthy work culture. The principle promotes a balanced approach to work, challenging the prevalent crunch culture, the practice of working long hours, often unpaid overtime and the run-up to a game's release. But why is crunch such a big deal? Imagine you're playing a game with a severe difficulty spike. You're putting in more and more hours, but the progress seems negligible. You're not just losing in game, you're losing sleep, personal time and, ultimately, your health. That's crunch in the game development world and it's not just about the loss of life balance. It's about the toll it takes on people's mental and physical health. The high score of work-life balance, the benefits of work are hard-eat. Much like a well-balanced game, provides an engaging and enjoyable experience for the player. A well-balanced work-life can significantly enhance a team's productivity and creativity. Firstly, working a hard-eat hours can lead to more focus and productive work. When your time in the studio is limited, you tend to prioritize tasks, streamline your work process and cut down on unnecessary meetings. In short, you work smarter, not harder. Secondly, the emphasis on a good eight hours of sleep cannot be underestimated, as any doctor or sleep deprived gamer will tell you. A good night's sleep can improve cognitive functions, enhance problem-solving skills and increase alertness all crucial aspects of the poor game developer. Lastly, the importance of having eight hours for personal life, hobbies, relaxation and socializing adds to crucial third dimension to this philosophy A well-rested, well-rounded individual who has time for personal pursuits can bring fresh perspectives, creativity and renewed energy to the workplace. Respawn Points Implementing Work a Hard Eight in your studio. Implementing the Work a Hard Eight philosophy in your game development studio is much like introducing a new gameplay mechanic. It requires careful planning, supportive environment and constant monitoring. To begin with, it's important to communicate to change to your team. Clearly explain the philosophy, its benefits and how it will be implemented in the studio. Encourage your team members to voice their concerns and suggestions. After all, implementing a new work policy is a team effort. Next, set clear expectations for work hours and productivity. Infantize the importance of working smart and focused during the eight hour work period. Discourage after hour work and emails. This is the time for rest and personal life. Make sure your team understands that while the studio values productivity, it doesn't come at the cost of their well-being. Shifting the Meta, challenging the Status Quo, establishing a Work Hard Eight culture often means challenging the ingrained crunch culture in your studio, like altering the meta in a competitive game. This process can be tough. It's important to remember the change doesn't happen overnight and it's okay to face resistance. Initially, you'll need to focus on changing perceptions about working long hours, breaking the overtime equals commitment myth. Empower your team members to speak up if they're feeling overworked and make it clear that burnout is in a badge of honor. Reinforce the idea that taking care of one's health and well-being is equally important as meeting deadlines. The Co-op Mode Leaving by example. As a leader, it's your responsibility to set the right example. Just like in co-op gaming, when team members rely on each other, your team is likely to follow your lead when it comes to work habits. If you're sending emails at midnight or skipping lunch breaks, your team might feel pressured to do the same. Try to adhere to the work of hard-aid philosophy as much as possible. Make it clear when you're off the clock and encourage your team members to do the same. The aim is to create a work environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to disconnect after the eight hours of work without the fear of falling behind or seeming uncombited. Health Packs Providing Support. A supportive work environment is crucial for the successful implementation of the work of hard-aid philosophy. Think of it like health packs in a video game they are essential for a player to survive and thrive. The same goes for your team members. Consider providing resources that support this balanced lifestyle. For example, consider offering flexible work hours, encourage breaks during the workday or even provide resources for mental health support. Make it clear that the studio values and supports the personal time End Game. The Long-Term Impact of Work of Hard-Aid. The work of hard-aid philosophy is in a quick fix for all studios' problems. It's a long-term investment for a healthier, more productive work environment. It's like reaching the end game content in an MMO. It requires time and commitment, but the rewards are worth it. By promoting a balanced work-life culture, you're likely to see improvements in team morale and productivity. You can also expect lower turnover rates, as your team members feel valued and cared for. Plus, your studio will be an attractive place for potential talent who value work-life balance. In the hyper-competitive gaming industry, these factors can give your studio a considerable advantage. Final Thoughts In the ever-evolving game development industry, the work of hard-aid philosophy stands as a testament to the importance of balance. It challenges the status quo and provides a way to create a healthier, more productive work environment. Much like gaming, we're understanding and using game mechanics effectively to make a difference between winning or losing In the game development world. Understanding and implementing the work of hard-aid philosophy can determine whether your studio thrives or merely survives. Remember, at the end of the day, the health and well-being of your team members are just as important, if not more, than the game they create. After all, game might be temporary, but the people who create them, their creativity, their talent and their well-being those are your real assets. Alright, and that's this week's episode of Press Start Leadership Podcast. Thanks for listening and, as always, thanks for being awesome.