Dallas 30 July 2020 – The Covid-19 pandemic started a work-from-home phenomenon that will likely outlast the coronavirus. As news media companies are thinking outside most boxes they have ever worked within; the news industry needs to take a strategic look at when, where, and how WFH works, according to a report released today by the International News Media Association (INMA).
The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms by Harvard Nieman Fellow Mary Meehan delves into how WFH is going and what workers need to do it effectively as some media companies prepare to remain remote at least until the end of 2020. Success is more than providing a laptop computer and a Zoom subscription.
The report covers –
The shift to working remotely – The pandemic caused a swift and abrupt move to WFH. Yet US executives surveyed expect 30% of their employees to work remotely at least one day a week after the pandemic, triple the previous rate.
WFH policies and support – From Zoom etiquette to US federal occupational regulations, from tech support to emotional support, news leaders need a new set of skills to manage remote workers.
Balancing work-life while working from home – This quote from the report sums it up — especially for women, “You can say, ‘I’m going to get this project done,’ and someone is coming in sideways and saying ‘I want some cereal.” Planning and training help.
The reality of the tech gap – Households and regions without proper Wi-Fi and differences in equipment, need to be addressed.
Management can help – In addition to guiding with all of the above, managing people you aren’t physically with offers new challenges. “Author Mary Meehan has put her finger on the pulse of some likely serious ramifications of WFH that are being discussed across industries, but never brought home to media companies,” INMA executive director and CEO Earl Wilkinson said. “If you are serious about people and talent management during this Covid moment, spend some time with this smart report. Challenge your HR team whether your WFH plan measures up.”
The 47-page report includes case studies from US media companies McClatchy, Cox Media Group, WFPL, and Skift’s B2B publication, which can be extrapolated for non-newsroom departments in other parts of the world.
The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms is available for free to INMA members and available to non-members for US$ 795, which includes one year of association membership, all strategic reports, Webinars, and access to all INMA content and peer connection tools. The report may be downloaded or purchased at www.inma.org/reports.