99designs survey reveals the pandemic’s impact on creativity, productivity and careers

99designs (with headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, and offices in Oakland, California and Berlin, Germany) is a global creative platform where graphic designers and clients work together to create the designs they love. It recently solicited 772 responses from marketing professionals collected online (via market research platform Corus) during August of 2020.

The COVID-19 virus has had a huge impact on creativity, productivity and careers.

Responses were collected from the United States (528), Australia (145) and Germany (101). About 37% were currently working in an agency, 36% were employed by a brand in-house, and 27% were currently freelancing. Nearly 75% of marketers have been working from home since March, but do they believe that their creative work, productivity or communications with team members has suffered or thrived in the new normal? The answer depends upon whom you ask, according to the new survey.

Here are some of its findings:

  • More than half of agency executives are eager to go back to the office full-time, despite reports of increased productivity, better communication and career opportunities for many.
  • While about 32% of marketers believe their productivity has improved, account managers and brand managers were almost twice as likely to have experienced improved productivity levels than their senior leaders when working remotely (44% versus 25%).
  • Conversely, younger marketers have found creative collaboration to be much more difficult working remotely when compared to their older colleagues.
  • Some unexpected benefits have also emerged. One in five marketers believe opportunities for career advancement have actually increased during the pandemic, and 42% of managers said communication with their teams has also improved while working from home.
  • More than half (56%) of agency employees would actually prefer to return to the office full-time, compared to just 38% of their in-house counterparts.
The 99designs survey found that nearly 75% of marketers have been working from home since the pandemic began last March.

These are just a few of the findings of the 99designs study conducted with the hep of research firm Corus, to coincide with the launch of 99designs’ Studio and Select platforms.

Overall impact on the industry moving forward. Many marketers also predicted huge changes to the industry as a whole. For example:

  • One in five marketers expect fixed retainers to become obsolete in a post-COVID world.
  • A quarter of agency executives anticipate retainers will disappear altogether, compared to only 14% of in-house marketers.
  • 39% of marketing professionals expect there to be a shift in demand towards project-based work.
  • One in three agency workers believe they’ll hire more remote freelancers in the future to bring flexibility to teams and project delivery.

For more data and insights, please visit the 99designs website.

About 99designs. 99designs is a global creative platform that makes it easier for designers and clients to work together to create the designs they love. Founded in 2008, the site has grown from a small, online forum into a worldwide community of talented designers who collectively have earned more than $300 million via the platform.