Could it be possible that newsrooms would function better by working from home? Surely there must be benefits that remote work has to offer that a standard office job doesn’t.

For example, if all newsrooms decided to embrace home offices, would certain media agencies be able to save their business in the current harsh economy? It’s difficult to say just yet but it’s also hard to deny the benefits.

Let’s dive further:

1. Working from home saves time

Time is money and South Africans spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. But do you really know just how much time (and money) you actually lose? According to the TomTom Traffic Index, South Africans in Johannesburg lose a total of 154 hours a year in traffic — in that amount of time you could have baked 7 397 cookies. Yes, you read that right!

*Image sources from TomTom

Losing all this time can really influence the amount of work that employees actually get to, not to mention the effects it has on our environment. Allowing newsrooms to work remotely saves so much time, allowing them to start their day at exactly at 08:00 and focus on their work with limited distractions.

Employees also don’t need to rush to get to the office, leaving them to be more level-headed and calm (we all know how stressful traffic can be). This improves the quality of the work that they produce as they won’t be so fired up by that one car that cut them off by the robot.

2. It allows for more flexibility

As a journalist, it is essential to build networks with respected (and sometimes not so respected) people across different industries. By working remotely, these individuals have more flexibility to conduct interviews when it suits both parties.

Not having rigid working hours anymore means that journalists can start experimenting with times, specifically regarding when it is most ideal to conduct interviews, and when to engage with people from different sectors.

Allowing employees a bit more leeway means that they can manage their time differently to best suit the newsroom and themselves. For example, a journalist might find that they can change the structure of their content to better align with their deadlines they need to meet.

3. It builds trust between editors and journalists

Allowing staff to work remotely means that the employer has placed a lot of trust in them. For example, the editor is trusting the journalists to get their content print-ready in time and the journalists are trusting the editor to support them along the way. There is no room for micro-management in-between and needless ‘I’m just checking in’ sessions.

Good employees are good employees anywhere. You weren’t standing over their shoulder at work, so assume you don’t need to be virtually standing over their shoulder while they are working at home,” says Mary Meehan, a healthcare policy journalist.

When personnel feel trusted, they are willing to have open conversations with their team. This leads to many benefits, including a positive flow of communication and sharing of knowledge that could benefit the company.

“When there is more trust in the workplace, employees are 23% more likely to offer more ideas and solutions,” says communication and advocacy platform smarp.

4. Technology for the win

We are lucky to live in a time where we have the equipment and software we need to work from home or basically anywhere in the world. Employees can access their computers at the office with a VPN and download the required software.

Technology is a great enabler, allowing staff to think outside the box and get more work done. Take for example, Upworthy, an online publication whose employees have been working remotely from the beginning. By making use of the benefits technology has, they have been able to “cover news across different time zones,” which means that a newsroom would be able to better connect and communicate with people sitting in different countries.

Although this has been a possibility for many years now, the fact that people are actually working from home allows other newsrooms to start focusing more on these types of opportunities.

Do you think that newsrooms are more efficient when working from home? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Still not settled at your new ‘home office’? Then be sure to read up on these Seven tips for working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Image courtesy of Pexels