Hybrid working has been adopted across many newsrooms around the globe–with almost two-thirds of survey respondents saying it could help with diversity–according to new research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
The report – ‘Changing Newsrooms 2022’ – also, however, highlights the concerns some managers have over its potential impact on culture and connections.
The findings are based on in-depth interviews with seven newsroom leaders and a survey of a strategic sample of 136 newsroom leaders from 39 countries.
Up to 61% of the media leaders surveyed said their organisations have introduced hybrid and flexible working - with an additional 17% stating they are establishing how to do it well.
Half of respondents (49%) work at organisations where staff are required to be in the office for a minimum number of days with 29% opting for a voluntary approach. 39% say they are struggling persuading people to return to the office.
Other key findings include:
Almost half of survey respondents (49%) think that hybrid and flexible working has made hiring and retaining talent much or somewhat easier
38% of managers feel flexible working has had a positive impact on productivity.
However, 36% of respondents worry that it has weakened their staff’s sense of belonging to the organisation
Most of respondents think their organisations are doing a good job with gender diversity (79%), but less so when it comes to ethnic diversity (47%), diversity from less-advantaged backgrounds (30%) and political diversity (27%)
She said: “Hybrid and flexible working is here to stay, but implementing it right is not without challenges. Newsrooms have the chance to reset how they work but they also need to think about the effects it creates on culture.
“It’s a chance to realign staff on their organisation’s purpose and vision; invest in finding a diverse talent that represents the audiences they want to reach and serve; and focus on nurturing and retaining that talent by creating an inclusive workplace culture.”