Positive mindsets in the games industry

By Gary McCartan, CEO, Pocket Sized Hands

The games industry is a fascinating and exciting place to work! From a young age I grew up playing games and often could be found glued to the television playing my Sega Mega Drive. I have always been enamoured with games and I am now lucky to find myself working within the game development studio I helped co-found, Pocket Sized Hands, based in Dundee. 

Pocket Sized Hands was founded straight out of university by a close knit group of friends and for the last 5 years we have been making games and experiences with clients from all corners of the globe. We have steadily grown to a team of 14 over the years, and with many growing businesses we faced a number of decisions and challenges along the way.  

One of those decisions was how we pay ourselves and our employees. All of our founders are all very likeminded and we wanted to commit early to what we believed were our social responsibilities. Initially we decided on our original pay scales, based on what we believed to be a fair wage that we would personally work for. Everyone at the company started on equal pay. As a young business we weren’t aware of the Living Wage Foundation at the time.  

Not long after our first successful hires, we had been introduced to the Living Wage Foundation and discovered more about what it meant to be a Living Wage employer. The responsibilities of being a Living Wage employer, matched some of our own beliefs as company owners and it was an easy decision to make, to be registered as being Living Wage accredited.  

Our main reason for wanting to become Living Wage accredited was that it acted as a commitment to employee welfare. We believe wholeheartedly that a healthy work life balance is key to long term sustainable staffing. Being a Living Wage employer acts as the foundation for our employee welfare policy. While not the only influencing factor in employee welfare, it’s a springboard for those looking to drive change within their company when it comes to promoting a healthy work life balance. It also acts as a commitment to fair pay, that we have a responsibility to stick to. It’s a reminder and guidance to what our core company values are. A pledge to our employees (and ourselves) that we are doing our best as employers to provide a wage that promotes a healthy sustainable lifestyle.   

When I think about our reasons for becoming Living Wage accredited, often a lot of my thoughts blur into one and it all comes back to our social responsibility. We believe everyone has a social responsibility, whether to their friends, neighbours, co-workers or employees. This can mean a lot of different things to each individual. A small, but significant factor we, as company owners can use to drive change within our own communities is being Living Wage accredited. In doing so, we can reassure and build a lasting trust with our employees and we can set an example for future game studios being set up within Scotland, showing that a commitment to the real Living Wage is sustainable and the way forward.  

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