INMA report looks at long-term WFH impact on newsrooms

By Dawn McMullan

INMA

Dallas, Texas, USA

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The COVID pandemic started a work-from-home phenomenon that likely will 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.

INMA's latest report, free to members, explores what it will take to make WFH a long-term possibility.
INMA's latest report, free to members, explores what it will take to make WFH a long-term possibility.

The report covers:

  • The shift to working remotely: The pandemic caused a swift and abrupt move to WFH. Yet U.S. 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 U.S. 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, as well as differences in equipment, need to be addresses.
  • How management can help: In addition to guiding with all of the above, managing people you aren’t physically with offers new challenges.

The 47-page report includes case studies from U.S. 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 can be downloaded or purchased at www.inma.org/reports

About Dawn McMullan

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