The DPP has released initial findings from a research project that tracks media people’s experiences of a working through the coronavirus pandemic. 

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DPP: Mark Harrison says the industry is conflicted and confused 

The report ‘Ways of Working: Views from a Crisis’ matches data from a number of surveys with interviews with nearly 50 renowned industry professionals accrued from a special online workshop.

This project was enabled by DPP member company Signiant, which also contributed to the data analysis and wider research.

DPP MD and report author Mark Harrison observed: “Our research reveals an industry already conflicted and confused. This is an extraordinary moment in history, and we wanted to capture in real time how people felt about (the pandemic), from start to lockdown and onto the gradual return to more familiar working.”

Speaking for Signiant, Chris Fournelle, director of M&E marketing, added: “It is important to remember that behind these numbers and trends are thousands of people working to continue their craft.

“Each day brings new challenges and emotions for them. What we are trying to do is tell the story as it unfolds and wherever it leads us,” he added.

Harrison exposes a number of tensions, and misunderstandings, starting with the fact that remote working is not the same as flexible working.

The report says: ‘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’.

On the summation that the workplace we need now, is not the one for next year, the report advises: ‘The remodelling of offices for social distancing now conflicts with the need for small, cheap, collaborative spaces sought by many companies for the future’.

Two other issues are seeing how to do less, but not how to do more, and the chance that optimism about the future may blind people to the true impacts of the coronavirus crisis.