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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - July 2020

How publishers could organize working from home after COVID-19

Back in March, when COVID-19 first started to really hit Europe, everyone was suddenly pushed towards working from home. And back then, many people, including myself, started talking about what working from home really was, and how what most people were doing wasn't it.

Yes, everyone was working from home, but it was nothing like how you would actually work from home if we didn't have a pandemic.

As the New York Times put it:

You are not working from home. You are laboring in confinement, under duress.

Back then I promised to write an article about this, about how to actually work from home as publishers, but I wanted to wait until the immediate drama of the crisis had passed.

It's now July, many countries have the virus mostly under control and have opened up again, and so now many people are no longer forced to work from home, but can instead do so as a matter of choice.

The New York Times is again a good example of this. They have announced that they will not require anyone to work from the office until at least January 2021, but will instead leave it up to individual journalists to work from where they feel most comfortable (and safe).

But how do you work from home as a publisher, if you aren't forced to do so because of a virus? How would you make that work?

Well, in this article, we are going to look at four things. We will talk about how to structure the work, how to manage the workflow, how to manage the communication, and how to define the workspace.

And of course, when I say 'working from home', I also mean how you would work virtually. Because this is not just about working 'from home', but more so about working in a distributed and virtual way (away from the office).

The focus of this article is to help editors and managers understand this better, but obviously, all the things I describe in this article would be useful to anyone.

And to start this, I would like to tell you a personal story about how I changed my view on this.

Outsourcing to New Zealand

I want to take you back to 2004. Back then I was working for a big fashion company, where my job was to be responsible for the digital strategy for all our brands.

This work basically meant that I would come to the office every day and have meetings. This was my life every day. Meetings and more meetings.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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