Magazine article Editor & Publisher

As Media Companies Evolve, So Too Should Their Workplace

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

As Media Companies Evolve, So Too Should Their Workplace

Article excerpt

While today's newspaper operations have evolved into multifaceted media companies with an ever-growing digital presence, many workplaces remain mired in settings more suited for bulky desks and typewriters.

When the print edition was the only product newspapers offered, workplace design wasn't a top priority. Every reporter and editor had a desk, sometimes on different floors, while the publisher and other executives were tucked away in private, secluded offices, and back-office functions were set up everywhere in between.

The workflow? Well, it "just happened."

Today, many media companies are fighting for survival by seeking new ways to reinvent themselves and remain relevant. Newspapers are now multimedia companies, and the print edition is just one outlet. This more dynamic business model needs a more dynamic environment. The values of teamwork and collaboration, proven to increase efficiency and attract top talent, are gaining traction as media companies evaluate how the workplace can help them succeed as a digital media business.

Consider new workplace settings found in non-media environments. Gone are the days of isolating people and their intellectual capital in private offices. Instead, leading businesses have come to realize the value of getting people out of their office and organized in a collaborative environment where they have greater access to information and an easier path to share knowledge, develop solutions, and respond to time-sensitive matters. These environments integrate technology and multimedia tools to enhance the work process and collaboration.

Essential to establishing a collaborative setting is the concept of magnetism--using the embodied energy of the workplace to draw people together and amplify the work product.

A magnet can be a refreshment center or coffee bar, a casual work setting or team space, a touchdown area, or a community zone. But there are also some less obvious forms of magnets. An area equipped with specialized technology can serve as a magnet, and even someone with a specific expertise or deep knowledge base can magnetize people to a single place. The key is understanding where the energy is, where the work happens, and where people naturally come together to exchange thoughts and ideas.

Take for example a media company located in the Midwest that, after decades, is moving to a new headquarters designed for a mobile, digital workforce with a variety of work settings for individual and collaborative work. …

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