Tips for journalists working from home

Updated June 23, 2020

[For more resources available to news organizations in light of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit lenfestinstitute.org/coronavirus.]

Over the past couple of weeks, newsrooms have abruptly transitioned from operating in an office to newsroom members being spread out in their homes, working remotely. Though working in sweatpants can be temporarily luxurious, working from home — while balancing kids, pets, and other responsibilities — can be a strain on newsroom operations, personal productivity, and mental health. 

Luckily, there are plenty of journalists who have navigated these waters before.

Here are some valuable tips on how to have an equally productive workday from home whether you’re an editor, a small local publication, or podcast host. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] with any other suggestions.

  • The Fathm news consultancy created a Distributed Newsroom Playbook that walks through challenges newsrooms are facing while adjusting to a distributed model and outlines strategies, tips, and best practices for building and managing a distributed newsroom.
  • And here are another 18 tips that LION Publishers CEO Chris Krewson compiled from the organization which serves small local publications. 
  • Harvard Business Review published tips for how parents can work from home with their kids who are also home from school. It also answered 15 pressing questions about remote work and figuring out the kinks of office life without the office
  • How do you record a podcast from home? Head to the closet. Hot Pod covered podcasting from home and explained how to set up a makeshift remote studio.
  • University of Missouri journalism professor, Damon Kiesow, shares some newsroom-specific advice on how to transition to a work office as seamlessly as possible. (Including: Use a smaller coffee mug!)
  • If you’re newsroom is dependent on Slack during this remote period, upgrading is no longer a drastic budget hit. Slack is allowing free upgrades to teams researching and responding to coronavirus.  
  • The World Association of News Publishers held a webinar where editors from all over the world shared how their newsroom is navigating remote work
  • The Verge published a guide to making the best of online tools like zoom and slack while working remotely.
  • For those working in packed houses, The Conversation’s Brittany Harker Martin gives some advice on co-working with the household. 
  • Harvard Business Review published tips for how parents can work from home with their kids who are also home from school, created guidelines for remote managers and answered 15 pressing questions about remote work and figuring out the kinks of office life without the office
  • Cleanliness is a necessity during a pandemic. Here are some tips from Vox on how to effectively stay clean at home. 
  • For those with kids out of school, PBS has a newsletter with daily ideas around play and learning from home. 
  • As everything changes, workday expectations should too. Barbara Larson, executive professor of management at Northeastern University, talks through how management should approach changing work standards
  • Google’s productivity expert, Laura Mae Martin, gives advice on how to work from home while managing stress
  • Unmistakeable Creative brings 15 tips to the table for keeping up at-home productivity
  • Marie Kondo walks through how to create a productive and calming home workspace  that sparks joy.
  • FastCompany created a guide to avoiding burn out in our new world of back-to-back zoom meetings and delayed productivity

Photo by Eea Ikeda on Unsplash

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