Will COVID-19 change the way we work — forever?

In a hotel room, a laptop on a table next to a phone, wallet, sunglasses and camera equipment.

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the media industry – like all industries – is huge and unprecedented. One of the most immediate impacts is the need for almost every company to adopt remote working, using cloud-based tools

But the pandemic will eventually end. When it does, will businesses simply return to the way they worked before? Or will our working practices have been changed forever? 

The DPP, in partnership with Signiant, is conducting a unique piece of longitudinal research that will look at how feelings and behaviors around remote and distributed working develop through the course of the pandemic. The research looks at how companies make structural adaptations; but it also charts personal and emotional journeys, capturing how it felt to work so differently, and whether our attitudes are changed by the experience.

“Signiant is proud to serve an industry that plays such an important role in major world events,” chief marketing officer, Jon Finegold commented, “As Signiant solutions play a critical role in connecting the global media supply chain, enabling global collaboration, we’re working hard to do our part to help the industry keep content flowing. The current pandemic has certainly magnified something we’ve always believed and that is ‘we are all in this together’.”

“We’re living through a key moment in world history, and we know nothing will ever be quite the same again,” adds Mark Harrison, DPP managing director. “It’s important that we capture in real-time how this crisis is changing the way we work. Research such as this will give us unique insights that will enable us to gain wisdom from an otherwise traumatic event.”

At the heart of the project is a monthly survey, across a four-month period, of around 20 questions. It will be completed by companies from across the supply chain, and from around the world. These surveys will track how companies are being impacted by the crisis, and how they are adapting to new ways of working.

The monthly survey is supported by a weekly ‘flash survey’ of around five questions. This short survey is intended to take the emotional temperature of respondents.  

Meanwhile, research analysis is being undertaken regarding the state of the wider media industry, and key developments over time. This will provide background context to the work.

Halfway through the research, the DPP will hold a virtual version of its ​DPP At Home event strand. This event will explore some of the emerging themes and add some qualitative depth to quantitative research. A short interim report will be published following this event.

A full report on the work will be published in July 2020.

If your company hasn’t already been contacted and you would like to participate, please email Anh Mao at  We are especially interested in gaming, VFX, Esports, motion picture, and television episodic productions participation. 

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