How will journalists work in the future?

Marcus Hebein has examined editorial offices in the home office. He now knows whether we will return to the editorial offices after Corona and who will stay in the home office. Five questions for the media manager.

Salzburg – How will we work after Corona? In a cross-border study, Marcus Hebein examined editorial offices in the home office. In the “journalist: in” interview, he says what still speaks for newsrooms, what bothers journalists at home and who will stay in the home office. Five questions for the media manager:

Ten seconds to commute to work, freely assignable working hours, leisure look … Do journalists feel comfortable in the home office?

Marcus Hebein: For some journalists, this flexibility is a great advantage, which makes their working life easier and is perceived very positively. But: For some of the employees, working from home is not an option for various reasons. For example, because the living situation at home is not right. Home office often does not work for employees with care responsibilities either. In addition: For many people, regular direct contact with colleagues is an essential aspect of their working life. It is therefore not surprising what the survey cited as the biggest disadvantage of the past few months: there was a lack of informal communication, the coffee chat in the kitchen.

Do many want to go back to the newsrooms?

Overall, the positive experiences that were made in all groups predominate, from management to employees. In many cases it should also have been surprising how well editorial offices can work in “remote mode”. Some, around a third of the employees, will continue to work from home on a regular basis in the future. That is quite remarkable for an industry in which such work models did not exist at all before.

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What bothers the most about the home office?

Emotion and creativity have apparently been lost in many areas. Probably a bigger issue for media companies and their services than for some other industries. The communication effort is also described as sometimes “excessive” and “complex”. The overlap of private and professional time is not equally easy to manage for everyone. Managers also find it more difficult to lead.

How many journalists worked in newsrooms before Corona? How is it now?

Before Corona, home office was practically non-existent in the media industry as a regular work model. In March of the previous year that more or less changed from one day to the next. In almost half of the editorial offices, 90 percent of the employees were at home, so the editorial offices were emptied.

Who will be able to work from home in the future? Who does not?

Apparently, young employees get along better with home office than older employees. For employees with care responsibilities, “forced” home office can become a real problem.

… Is journalistic work possible as a lone fighter? What works well in the home office? Where are the problems? Does productivity decrease or increase? … You can read the entire interview in the current issue of the magazine “Österreichs Journalist: in”.

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