At Storythings, we’re obsessed with audience behaviours and how they change over time.

In 2020 we all lived through one of the biggest events of our generation: the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home and hybrid working became the norm during multiple government-mandated lockdowns, and as a society we developed a different relationship with media. Our favourite programmes, conversations, music – all types of content really – had to fit into the new rhythms of our days. 

The Storythings team knew audience behaviour had changed, based on anecdotes from our friends and colleagues in the industry – but we wanted to know if our hunches were right. We needed the data! So we decided to do what we do best. Over 6 months of research, we asked people how their attention patterns had changed. 

The findings are here, in Scroll Stoppers: Six ways hybrid working has changed our attention’. The eagle-eyed amongst you have been drip-fed these findings through our Attention Matters newsletter, which was the launching platform for this research, and will go on to capture audience behaviour insights regularly – SUBSCRIBE! (it is a newsletter after all). But we wanted to house the original research in its own digital space on our website, so here it is. 

The six trends that summarise how people’s attention has changed since hybrid working became a bigger part of our lives are:

Each trend includes some quotes from people we spoke to, and from other research we came across, as well as survey answers. And there are nice little reading lists with each, for you to dive even deeper. The full report, again, is here.

We spoke to 135 people from all over the globe for this research, which was conducted from May to October 2022 via interviews, focus groups and an online survey. Our thanks to all of them for their time and contributions, including Meera Kumar, Kaysi Campbell, Kenya Scarlett, Isla Gray, Yoana Pavlova, Riham Mustafa, Susanne Ballhausen and Lili Toth. Thanks also to Claire Selby, Innovation Partnerships Manager at Kingston University London, for working with us on a student focus group.

A special Thank You to Young Minds, especially Shane Samarasinghe, Senior Supporter Mobilisation Manager at Young Minds, for backing this project from the beginning, and to Hannah Ray from Substack for her support with the Attention Matters newsletter.

Design: Britt Edwards, Eden Brackenbury and Lucy Baxter

Writing: Robyn Collinge and Laura Sterian

Head of Research: Laura Sterian

Executive Producers: Hugh Garry and Anjali Ramachandran