Just one in 12 Latin American (LATAM) PR and communication professionals (8%) expect to return to the traditional five-day office week post-Covid, according to the new LATAM PR and Communications Census 2021.
Currently, the vast majority (85%) of PR practitioners are working from home, with only 4% permanently in the office. Post-pandemic, 63% said they expect to continue to embrace a hybrid working model. Interestingly, 14% expect to remain fully home-based.
The research, sponsored and carried out by Quiddity, is published by PRCA Americas, the regional arm of the world’s largest professional PR body. Other editions are published by the PRCA in the UK, the Middle East and North Africa, and South East Asia.
Other findings of the 200-person study include:
- Working in PR – Despite the uncertainties created by Covid-19, most PR professionals appear happy in their work – 38% said their company creates a very good working environment, 43% say the working environment is ‘good’, and 17% said it is ‘neither good nor bad’.
- Glass Ceiling – Even though the industry is predominantly (68%) female, women are less likely to feel confident that they are being paid well, and in fact, are nearly twice as likely than men to earn less than US$2,000 per month
- Inclusion – Most practitioners (80%) said they thought their company’s performance in promoting diversity and inclusion at work was ‘good’ or ‘very good’ – although this number was higher for men (88%) than for women (76%).
- Mental Health – 23% of practitioners say they have suffered or have been diagnosed with mental ill health – and three in five (60%) feel they would be able to talk to a manager or senior colleague about mental health problems.
- Workforce reductions – Three in ten respondents said their employer had made redundancies due to the pandemic. In half (52%) of companies where redundancies happened, this meant letting go less than 10% of their staff
PRCA Americas chair Gustavo Averbuj CMPRCA writes in his introduction to the report: “The pandemic has not only brought suffering and ill-health to families, but it has also forced many of us to change the way we live and work. This report suggests that leaders in PR and communication are already rising to the challenges of taking care of their staff’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as creating diverse and inclusive professional environments.”
Averbuj, who is also Regional Director of Ketchum Latin American, continues: “By asking questions around these sensitive and important topics, we can learn together as an industry by firstly analysing where we currently are in terms of addressing these issues, before secondly, determining where we can improve and finally implementing real, tangible change.”
The PRCA launched in Latin America in 2019, and has since expanded to become PRCA Americas, reflecting its growing number of members across North and Latin America.
PRCA Director-General Francis Ingham MPRCA says:
“This report is an important part of our mission – our global and regional censuses are the landmark analyses of our industry, region-by-region. They offer unparalleled insight into where we are now, and where we are heading.”