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DPP & Signiant research into remote working reveals industry in confusion

May 21, 2020

The DPP, the media industry’s business network, has shared the first findings from research which tracks experiences of a media industry working through the coronavirus pandemic. A new report Ways of Working: Views from a Crisis brings together data from a number of surveys with interviews with nearly 50 industry professionals conducted in a special online workshop.

The research project has been made possible by DPP Member company Signiant, which has also contributed to the data analysis and wider research.

“This is an extraordinary moment in history, and we wanted to capture in real time how people felt about it – from start of lockdown, to the gradual return to more familiar working,” says DPP MD and author of the report, Mark Harrison. “This first report, two months into our research, reveals an industry already conflicted and confused.”

“It’s important to remember that behind these numbers and trends are thousands of people working to continue their craft.  Like the rest of us, each day brings new challenges and emotions for them,” says Chris Fournelle, Signiant’s Director of M&E Product Marketing. “What we are trying to do is tell the story as it unfolds and wherever it leads us.”

Ways of Working: Views from a Crisis exposes several tensions, as people grapple with this extraordinary change, including:

Remote working is not the same as flexible working

Most companies moved to remote working quite easily. But the strains of home working are starting to show – with people longing for social contact and spontaneity.

The workplace we need now, is not the one for next year

The remodelling of offices for social distancing now conflicts with the need for small, cheap, collaborative spaces sought by many companies for the future.

We can see how to do less, but not how to do more

Most predict a future of constrained budgets, less office working and less travel. But there is uncertainty around how new business will be generated in this model.

Positivity may blind us to the true impacts of the crisis

Surveys show that although many are experiencing negative impacts now, they remain optimistic about the future. Is this positive thinking, or denial?

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