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Epic Games irks employees with shift in vacation policy

Epic wants developers back working every Friday, some say the days off were vital for their work.

Bloomberg games reporter Jason Schreier is reporting that Epic Games employees are in an uproar after the company announced an end to a pandemic-inspired policy that allowed employees to take every other Friday off.

Ending the policy has frustrated employees so much that some reached out to Schreier and shared documents confirming the policy's end. Epic apparently said the policy was "always meant to be temporary," and that it hoped employees and contractors would schedule vacation time on their own.

Chief operating officer Daniel Vogel apparently wrote in an e-mail that "Right now, we are seeing lots of Fridays off for deep work, and lots of people who must work Fridays anyways. This meant htat many people were not benefitting from this policy anyway."

A survey of 581 Epic employees apparently showed that 93 percent found the alternating Fridays policy to be "extremely beneficial," and 61 percent said they felt "worried, guilty, or stressed" when taking separate vacation days. Almost 90 percent of respondents said they wanted to keep Fridays off as a standard.

Epic's move comes right as companies like Young Horses and Eidos Montreal have implemented four-day workweeks at their offices, and promises of better work-life balance are helping newer companies hire away veteran game developers. 

It will be interesting to see if pushback from employees causes Epic to change its tune--or if it will double down instead.

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