Publishing industry survey shines a light on working from home
NUJ Oxford branch joined forces with the Oxford Publishing Society and the Oxford branch of the Society of Young Publishers to conduct a national survey
The results are now in, the numbers have been crunched, and some important issues have been identified.
Lynn Degele, chair of the Oxford and district NUJ branch, said:
"What the survey shows is that many people may have a lot to gain from moving to greater remote working, but unless the terms and conditions are right, many also have a lot to lose.
"The cramped and unsafe conditions that many people have been forced to work from during lockdown, the cold some had to endure because they could not afford to keep the heating on, have no place in any new normal. The professional and social impact of relying so heavily on remote communications also needs to be acknowledged and addressed.
"Companies have a duty of care to their staff's physical and mental health, and a duty to ensure changes do not unfairly impact on protected groups. We need urgently to develop and argue for model agreements that codify best practice. What happens over the next few months could be important in determining working cultures and conditions for a long time to come."
The survey Beyond Lockdown: Does Working From Home Work For You? sought the views of publishing professionals and had nearly 1000 responses.
Highlights from the survey:
- The survey highlighted a gulf between the experiences and prospects of publishing professionals whose homes have also had to become their office during the past 15 months.
- Upsides to working from home cited included savings in time and money through not having to commute and the opportunity to live further away from the workplace.
- Further analysis showed that people with a dedicated home working space were less/not stressed. Conversely, those with little/no home workspace were more/most stressed.
- Younger and early/mid-level career employees, who are less likely to have a dedicated home working space, were hit hardest.
- Home working requires space which means those sharing flats or houses were often struggling with difficult conditions such as poor internet access, lack of quiet work space and suitable equipment.
- Opportunities for informal teaching and learning and networking are lost when working remotely. This affects younger workers most, and worries some managers.
- Many young and early or mid-career level workers are frustrated that those making the decisions (senior management/directors) have little or no understanding of their situation.
Access the survey details via the Oxford branch website:
Beyond Lockdown – the results of our working from home survey
If you want to join the conversation about how to shape the home/office balance in the publishing industry, email: [email protected]