A work/life balance: Why we “go fishing”

Underpin Marketing Stevenage Game Controller

A healthy work/life balance is a central part of our code of conduct. By having a thoughtful approach to our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing we can be more productive in the long term, and be able to provide a better service to our clients.

It’s easy to be on social media or working 24/7 but sometimes we all need to “go fishing” and that’s what we do regularly here at Underpin Marketing. And we’ve taken this approach by taking a page  from an unusual place… gaming.

A gaming crisis

The gaming industry is going through something of a crisis at the moment. The constant strive to deliver games on time, and on budget has lead to a phenomenon known as “crunch.”

There are usually three things you can change on a project. You can spend more money, you can delay the deadline, or you can work harder and longer. It seems that the gaming industry has come to a conclusion – investors won’t let you spend more money, and customers won’t be happy if you delay the game-  the only option is to work harder, or “crunch.” This has lead to some horrific stories, including over 100 hour work weeks and crippling mental issues for staff.

There doesn’t seem to be much of an appetite to change this in the wider industry, although the issue is getting more coverage than it did a few years ago – and some games studios are starting to change.

Apex Legends

One of the biggest games of the year so far has been Apex Legends, a new game for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, made by Respawn. The game is free to play, but players can buy extra characters and cosmetic items. In the first month alone, this generated £93 million. But Respawn has made a conscious decision to space out their game updates, to ensure that crunch doesn’t happen. They have effectively decided that profit should not be put over the health of their employees.

Our code of conduct states that we “believe that the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of their employees, suppliers, partners and most importantly themselves are at the centre of everything we do.” and this sometimes means putting health and wellbeing over profit.

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