Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic it is estimated that only 6% of the US workforce worked remotely. Due to the pandemic that number jumped to a high of 70% in April 2019.

There are benefits to remote and/or hybrid work models for both business and the workforce.

What are the benefits on the workforce side?
  • Remote employees save an average of 40 minutes daily from commuting.
  • Since 2020 people have been meeting by video calls 50% more since COVID-19.
  • After COVID-19, 92% of people surveyed expect to work from home at least 1 day per week and 80% expected to work at least 3 days from home per week.
  • 23% of those surveyed would take a 10% pay cut to work from home permanently.
  • People are saving on average close to $500 per month being at home during COVID-19. Resulting in savings close to $6000 per year.
  • 81% of those surveyed believe their employer will continue to support remote work after COVID-19.
  • 59% of respondents said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work compared to those who didn’t.
What are the benefits of remote working for employers?
  • Surveys show companies save an estimated $11,000 per year savings per remote employee.
  • Geographic boundaries removed allow for a larger talent pool to fill positions
  • Lower absenteeism rates
  • Office “Politics” reduced or eliminated
Why don’t people want to return to a traditional work model?
  • Change in daily routine: 27%
  • Being away from family or pets: 26%
  • Office politics and distractions: 34%
  • Childcare or caregiver responsibilities: 15%
  • Lack of health and safety measures (i.e., wearing a mask, social distancing): 32%
  • Being required to adhere to health and safety measures: 21%
The negative impacts to business:
  • The belief that workers will slack off if “no one is looking.”
  • Employers are afraid employees are more likely to engage in improper behavior while working from home, such as visiting inappropriate websites.
  • Employees might misuse company equipment or information.
  • This kind of distrust often results in many employers trying to monitor their employees who work from home.

While this “new normal” has both positives and negatives there is also a serious risk associated with remote work. Removing a secure network environment can have unforeseen and potentially wide spread and costly consequences.

  • Phishing Schemes
  • Weak Passwords
  • Unencrypted File Sharing
  • Insecure Home Wi-Fi
  • Working from Personal Devices

Cybersecurity spending is expected to increase at a double-digit rate in 2021, driven primarily by the need to enable employees to work from anywhere. Gartner is forecasting worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services will grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion in 2021.

The long-term impact of a remote or hybrid workforce will be reviewed and analyzed for years but one thing has already emerged as a result, “…. what we’re seeing in the data is a shift in people’s mindset post-pandemic.” This new remote/hybrid work model has changed the landscape of employee – employer relationships. The 2nd quarter of 2021 saw the highest number of US workers voluntarily leaving their jobs as business started to reopen. The workforce has readjusted their priorities. Even workers who are not able to do remote work are feeling empowered to ask for more in terms of work-life balance. It would appear that a mutually beneficial relationship has taken a back seat, for now.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s no surprise that live events and award shows struggled with viewership and were negatively impacted from the 2020 pandemic. Empty seats filled arena seats instead of live audiences. Popular award shows such as the Academy Awards and Grammys took a big hit this past year, proving live feedback from present audiences heavily influences live performances and even ratings from home. Acceptance speeches were limited because performers were also watching and engaging from home. The lack of some of the most sought-after A-lister red carpet outfits and interviews were missed, and I’m sure the Hollywood elite missed their after-show parties.

So, what is the current state of these shows? Some live events are opening their doors to vaccinated people only. Some are simply allowing seats to be filled, but space them out to adhere to the 6 ft recommended social distancing rule.

The 2021 Grammys showed enormous year over year decline, but despite that downward spiral scored the top ratings so far in 2021 for a live award show for home viewership. CBS’ broadcast of the awards drew 9.23 million viewers and a 2.28 rating among adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s final same-day ratings for Sunday (vs. 8.8 million and 2.1 in earlier ratings, which didn’t include out-of-home viewing). Both figures are all-time lows for the Grammys and down sharply from last year. Sunday’s show fell 51 percent in total viewers (from 18.69 million) and 58 percent in the 18-49 demographic (from 5.4). CBS notes, however, that the Grammys have scored the biggest awards show audience of the 2020-21 season thus far.

And the networks may not have gotten a price break either.

TV networks pay tens of millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast individual awards shows, because they are part of an exclusive club: programming that needs to be seen live. In any given year, the Oscars and Grammys are among the only shows that can compete with live sports for viewers.

With the increased viewership across Netflix and other streaming platforms and looking at how many awards these platforms have won recently, it would make sense to give viewers the same options to watch live shows across platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and what not. Even if it costs them a couple bucks, my guess is they would dive in credit card in hand.

So, let’s zoom out. Consider how much has changed in the past ten years: The growth of on-demand content libraries, the habituation of ad-free viewing, the omnipresence of celebs on social media, the ability to catch the best parts of live events later, the stickiness of always-on social feeds. One of the logical results: starry live events are not must-see-TV anymore. As one wise TV exec said to me, “Awards shows rely on a common definition of pop culture and that idea has been eroding for years.

Broadway, one of my favorite theater past-times, was also impacted by a shutdown, therefore the Screen Actors Guild Awards have been delayed for three months this year. The Oscars aired in April instead of February as well as the Cannes Film Festival taking a July seat instead of the usual May slot.

The positive side to all of this is that these shows are still hanging in there and just need more time to properly assess candidates that are in line for awards in 2021. Broadway has re-opened its doors, and Hollywood studios are back in full swing. So, I’m pretty sure… the show WILL go on!