How Have Creatives and Designers Adapted to the Pandemic? A Survey

Like many other business professionals, creatives and designers are working remotely because of the Coronavirus pandemic. What is surprising in their case is the ease with which they have adapted to this new setting. While creatives report challenges transitioning to remote work, they are completing their work just fine.

That is a high-level finding of a flash survey Lytho conducted online to better understand how the Coronavirus and the illness it causes (COVID-19) was impacting the creative community. The results are a credit to the agility and adaptability that is inherent to creative talent.

Below are some major findings:

1. Most Creatives and Designers Are Working Remotely

Creatives and designers have made a total switch to their work setting. Most creatives (92%) report their team is now working remotely 100% of the time. The remainder (8%) said their team is partially working remotely because of the pandemic.

2. Creatives and Designers Are Happy to Be Working Remotely

Half of the creatives said the process of transitioning to remote work was “easy” (39%) or “very easy” (11%). Another 27% were indifferent and indicated the transition was “neither difficult nor easy.” About a quarter (23%) said the transition was “difficult,” however no respondents labeled the transition “very difficult.”

Fifty respondents wrote in open-ended comments to share why. Many of the comments had common themes. Below are some representative answers:

Those that said the transition was easy:

  • “The largest challenge is that some colleagues miss one another; miss in-person connections.”
  • “Focus (kids at home, homeschooling, etc.), social aspects (missing colleagues and coffee machine chats) & fear (of how everything is going to work out. Thankfully, no fear for job, as that is quite secure for the time being).”
  • “The influx of projects related to COVID-19, while undertaking major projects like website redesign and email system migration and having to prioritize projects daily. Figuring out how to collaborate and harness that ‘creative connection’ that comes from working face-to-face with the team virtually. Some of the teams have had to figure out how to set boundaries to not work 24/7, while others have not put in their full time because of the nature of remote work.”

Those that said the transition was neither hard nor easy:

  • “Technology set up – none of us worked remotely, so our challenge was to set up our home offices and make sure we use a VPN, have Zoom, etc.”
  • “Fortunately, our team already took turns working from home, so we established proper remote working procedures.”
  • “Balancing work with family care; increase of workload; budget challenges.”

Those that said the transition was difficult:

  • “We do a lot of collaborative work, and my focus is on strategy. We miss a lot of information because we lack fast and rich interpersonal communication, troubleshooting, and brainstorming.”
  • “VPN, internet, collaboration and struggles with team meeting goals and staying on task.”
  • “Managing work-life against family life at home juggling children and professional schedules over-abundance of meetings being scheduled in lieu of clear emails or other quick requests/conversations.”

3. COVID Has Had a Moderate Impact on Creative Work

Most creatives say the work circumstances caused by the Coronavirus has “a little” (29%) to “moderate” (35%) impact on their ability to work. However, 15% said the pandemic has no impact at all, while about one-fifth (21%) said they are adversely affected in getting things done (“a lot” or “a great deal”).

4. The Biggest Challenges Facing Organizations

We asked respondents an open-ended question – what has been your organization’s biggest challenge in responding to the pandemic? – and 54 wrote in answers. Here is a representative sample of those answers:

  • “Staying relevant and getting the ‘right’ things done.”
  • “Making sure everyone has what they need to be productive. Trying to figure out how to have company-wide town halls.”
  • “Budget impact.”
  • “Clear communication for organizational leadership about best courses of action, timelines, and commitment to decisions.”
  • “Network and technology issues and increased demand for deliverables.”
  • “Having to pivot on our upcoming events and turn them into virtual ones in a short amount of time.”

5. Most Creative Teams Use a Cloud-Based Tool

Cloud technology has come into focus during the pandemic because it provides access to software tools and data to do a job from anywhere with an internet connection. Most respondents (82%) say their creative organization already uses cloud-based workflow or project management tools. Unsurprisingly, the data does suggest that those with cloud-based tools were more likely to report an easier transition to remote work.

6. Tech Creatives and Designers Need to Perform Better

We asked respondents what technology vendors could do to help them in navigating these challenging times. Again, this question was open-ended are here are some representative comments.

  • “Ensure easy, seamless, comprehensive tools or integration. So, we aren’t jumping from one tool to the other.”
  • “Provide more and better online training materials for their products.”
  • “Faster, faster, faster product speeds!”
  • “Make our jobs easier and the software easier to use.”
  • “Super responsive support to keep everything going.”

Methodology: A total of 62 creative professionals took the online survey, which was conducted from Friday, April 24, 2020, until Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Respondents come from a wide range of industries including health care, higher education, financial services, retail, technology, hospitality, and entertainment.

Are you the head of a creative team or a creative yourself interested in overcoming your creative challenges? Lytho helps you do just that by streamlining workflows and harmonizing all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our creative solutions can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!