Hybrid and flexible working are here to stay, new report finds

News organisations are embracing post-pandemic flexible and hybrid working, a new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found.

Based on a survey of 136 senior industry leaders from 39 countries and a series of in-depth interviews, Changing Newsrooms 2022 looks at how media groups are adapting to new work practices in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and at the challenges they face in implementing it. It also explores how new working patterns are having an impact on recruitment and retention and progress in achieving a diverse workforce.

The report, authored by Federica Cherubini, shows news organisations have clearly embraced the shift, with 61% respondents saying their organisation has largely implemented hybrid and flexible working with new rules in place for staff.

The majority of leaders who participated in the survey (57%) think their organisations are doing a good job with it. Twenty per cent of survey respondents report that while their organisations are making some changes, they largely want to return to a pre-pandemic working model.

Turning to the most common approach adopted by news organisations, 49% said staff are required to be in the office for a compulsory minimum number of days a week/month, while 29% of respondents indicated that their organisations follow a more voluntary approach, in which staff are expected to be in the office a minimum number of days of their choice.

The jury is still out on whether employees actually want to be back in the office, with 39% saying their newsrooms are struggling to get people back. Almost half of survey respondents (49%) said hybrid and flexible working has made hiring and retaining talent much or somewhat easier, while 65% think that hybrid and flexible working could increase their ability to hire diverse talent and have a positive impact on their diversity, equity and inclusion strategies.


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