This is the author’s one-hundredth column for Sports Radio America. No additional fanfare here, just getting to work, noting the milestone, continuing to produce content. In times like these, content is definitely king, while distribution is for everyone and for anyone.
As the collective world and the entertainment, media, and sports industries take a step back to reflect on the what has just occurred and the light at the end of the tunnel with many states set to come back online after April 30th, the culture of business has changed and likely for the better. Industries have become more flexible, by necessity, and the digital revolution was given to the people as a glimpse of what could be. Adapt or fail to succeed. Businesses can no longer rely on one form or the traditional way of doing business. Herein are the three ideas as to what is likely to change permanently going forward.
- More virtual meetings and telecommuting
The fact is that working from home is both less expensive and more efficient. There is less overhead cost to the business and more productivity with no commute time. It takes discipline and a distraction-discouraging environment. A workplace with employees can be very distracting in itself and often little work gets done because employees and executives are constantly being disrupted by interruptions. Virtual meetings also allow people to see each other face-to-face without having to be physically present. Until teleporting arrives, this will have to do.
Think about all the Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts meetings the reader might have had since the quarantine started. People are meeting more now possibly because the lack of in-person meetings, travel, cost, etc. Traditional studios and tech-focused streamers can now look to have more employees for less overhead and be ready to deliver employee services digitally, virtually, and electronically like their content. Sports franchises are no different, especially with the limited space of a ballpark or arena. There is also the tax incentives to think of when writing-off a percentage of your rent for a home office. Bottom line: time, money, and life are gained by working from home.
- More out of state film and production
With California and New York considered by government officials to be hotbeds for outbreak (and film production), when these states come back online is hard to tell. May 15 is the end date for the Los Angeles stay-at-home order, but that could be extended and gatherings of multiple people (enough for entertainment production or playing sports) will be limited. Encouraged by necessity, this is where other states and foreign locales come into play. States and international places wanting this business should look to offering tax incentives, while showcasing their prowess for film production and hosting major events safely and securely. Production can also get creative with completely digital, distance, and virtual production to avoid travel all together. Again, something from necessity leading to something that saves cost and is more efficient, and dare one say, fun and innovative too.
- Potential workers compensation claims
On a legal note, litigation surrounding CARES Act loan fraud ($8 billion and counting for the entertainment and recreation industries), bankruptcy, civil liberties and government overreach, and workers compensation claims (for employees being mandated to work from home), will all fill the four corners of complaints and courtrooms. Other industries are no exception. Again, the entertainment, media, and sports industries would be wise to lobby for tax incentives on business and entertainment expenses and legislative protection and/or judicial clarification on workers compensation claims extending to the home.
Change is not a bad thing if embraced. All stand to benefit if there is acceptance and pace. How that looks going forward is anyone’s guess, these were just a few thoughts on what might take place. Be well and be blessed.