Will COVID-19 Change the Way We Work?

A detailed image of the Corona virus. Its a grey sphere with red triangular things coming out of it and yellow specks on it.

July 21, 2020

February feels so long ago.

February was when Signiant first wondered what the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact might be on the media & entertainment industry even as we attended the Hollywood Professional Association Tech Retreat at the end of the month. Would NAB be canceled? At the time, that seemed to be the biggest question on people’s minds.

March abruptly brought not only the NAB Show cancellation but an unprecedented lockdown, disrupting the media & entertainment unlike any other time in history. Everyone was suddenly scrambling to work from home and make remote operations a reality at scale. 

April saw the industry get its feet underneath itself and continue with what work and content could be accomplished. Sheer will, ingenuity, teamwork, and compassion kept companies upright even as furloughs and layoffs began at record numbers. We got through it.

May saw the industry settle into its work-from-home models, and brought a discussion about the return to work, when sports might start up again, and how soon production would be back on set. In many places the pandemic’s effect subsided, offering hope for a return to normalcy.

June saw countries and states relaxing the lockdown and increased personal contact. COVID-19 guidelines for production and facilities offered a roadmap to production’s return — the lifeblood for M&E.

July continues the slow, steady trickle of opening up our industry — returning to offices, sports teams practicing and playing, and productions yelling “action” again, all the while with an eye on surges and outbreaks blooming again across the United States.

Here we are. February feels so long ago.

Day to day, week to week, month to month, we all experienced great professional and personal upheaval as we learned to work in different ways for different reasons under different conditions. 

This rapid and dynamic upheaval is the reason the DPP and Signiant partnered to track the weekly and monthly temperature of over 100 media and entertainment companies, getting a privileged inside view of how the industry coped as organizations moved operations from professional facilities to personal homes. 

This final report, “Will COVID-19 Change the Way We Work?” is a culmination of four months of weekly and monthly surveys probing how companies and individuals, business leaders and managers, creatives and technologists adjusted, managed, planned, and led the media & entertainment during a pandemic and what they expect next. Although emotions and stresses are heightened throughout the pandemic, the survey results show a resilient, adaptive industry carrying on. 

The first chapter of a much longer story is ending; we are hopeful entering the next. Signiant is proud to work with the DPP on this insight during a historical and formative time for our industry.

Signiant plays a significant role in helping content creators, broadcasters, distributors, gaming artists, and sports groups through this difficult time.  From the initial offer of help to our community, to the DPP project, the Pandemic Series, and our every-day conversations with customers, Signiant works to understand the industry’s needs, and develops ways to enable remote operations. During this time, when it’s important to be agile and dynamic, Signiant’s storage-agnostic and cloud-native SaaS approach has been crucial in keeping content moving no matter where it’s coming from or going to. We are proud to support the industry as we carry on together.

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