Bungie's Response For The COVID-19 Pandemic

Bungie USgamer

Bungie recently posted their take on how they are going to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple other companies are taking steps themselves to ensure everything goes well and no one is affected by the virus. Recently, Ubisoft also stated that all their employees are going to work at home. All companies and organizations are taking drastic steps to ensure that it doesn’t spread even more.

Multiple events such as GDC and E3 have also been postponed or canceled along with major esports leagues such as Rainbow Six Siege Pro League, Overwatch League, and League Of Legends LCS.

Bungie’s location was hit with the outbreak earlier and they had to make decisions fast, so they moved out of the company office and started working at home.

“The overarching challenge of managing the impact of COVID-19 is that some employees might think that the virus won't impact them very much, personally, when they read about mortality rates for their demographic group. But, even among younger demographics, there will be people in at-risk categories (such as those with diabetes, and those who are immune-compromised or pregnant) or who are caring for family members in at-risk categories," Bungie stated in a post. The company said that they don't want to spread the virus even further so they are taking their own countermeasures.

They also put up a guide which can help other people manage their offices.

Bungie's Guide For Corporate COVID-19 Response

If you haven't done so already (and your team is still coming into the office), put signage up across your facility communicating:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Sneeze/cough into your elbow (or a tissue, and dispose of it immediately).
  • If you are ill, or if you have a family member who is ill, stay home! As COVID-19 has multiple symptoms, better to take the extra precaution even if it looks like a mild cold.

Planning & Communication

A thoughtful plan and a regular cadence of communication are two of the biggest steps you can take to successfully prepare your employees and your organization to take on the challenges posed by COVID-19. Here is what we recommend:

  • Set priorities for how you are going to manage through COVID-19 for your business, and communicate those priorities to EVERYONE. Because it is impossible to solve every problem in a single day, these priorities should guide what you focus on first in your efforts. Bungie’s stated priorities are:
    • Keep our employees safe. Put policies and procedures in place to support this.
    • Ensure core studio functions stay operational.
    • Ensure our live game services remain online and functional.
    • Ensure we are able to deliver on our 2020 goals.
    • Support our partners, colleagues, neighbors, and community to manage successfully through the outbreak.
  • Build a plan that addresses the multiple phases of the COVID-19 outbreak in your area. Keep it simple (at the high level) and communicate it to the organization so that you can start to manage through the change that is coming. Here is Bungie’s five-phased plan (we are in Phase 3 because of state guidelines):
  • Phase 1: No COVID-19 present in King County
    • COVID-19 Remote Work Policy offered.
      • 14-day self-quarantine required from employees returning from travel to CDC L2+ countries.
    • Phase 2: Active COVID-19 transmission in King County (no Bungie employees)
      • Phased preparations for remote work/work from home + introduction of “COVID-19 Time” PTO options.
      • Self-quarantine required for ill employees or those exposed to those tested or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Phase 3: COVID-19 cases among Bungie employees (no workplace exposure), or state or federal remote work request, or state or federal recommendation for all employees to work from home
      • All employees who are able to work from home are required to do so.
    • Phase 4: COVID-19 cases among Bungie employees (workplace exposure), or state or federal closure order
      • Studio closed; required work from home only.
      • Core business continuity plan activated + studio decontamination.
    • Phase 5: COVID-19 receding, and state or federal closure order lifted
      • Studio comprehensive cleaning and decontamination.
      • Phased plan for employees’ return to the studio for work.
  • Create a cross-functional COVID-19 strike team for your organization and meet daily to identify and address the biggest questions you need to resolve. The team should include representation from groups such as:
    • Operations
    • Facilities
    • Security
    • IT
    • Admin
    • HR
    • Representatives from your game teams: Production, Test, and Engineering, in particular
    • Community
  • Have a single, senior point person on your COVID-19 strike team who is in charge of setting the agenda, who can make decisions quickly, and who can authorize budget to apply to problems (or who can get budget approved quickly).
  • Have that point person (or someone with whom they are working closely) send a daily update to your organization with the latest updates and the company’s status relative to your multi-phase plan (as well as encouraging words wherever possible!)
  • Create a central Wiki for all of your documents regarding COVID-19 and point to it in every communication you send.
  • Link to all of the policy documents you create (see below).
  • Create an FAQ space for people to pose questions and answer them for each other – especially as they problem-solve to work remotely.
  • Set up for 1-to-many communications (using technology such as livestreaming) so that you can have your leadership team continue to talk with you employees in an "all hands" fashion. We use our internal chat channels to take questions from employees dynamically during these sessions.

So, what are your thoughts on Bungie’s take on protecting themselves from the pandemic? Do you think their take on protecting everyone from the virus is going well? Whatever your thoughts may be, let us know in the comments below.

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