news - June 2020
ASID Survey on COVID-19
ASID has been polling its members every two weeks during the coronavirus crisis; here are the latest results.
By George McClure
FOUNDED IN 1975, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the oldest and most widely known professional organization for interior designers and the manufacturers and suppliers who support them. ASID’s core belief is that design impacts lives, and they collaborate with others to promote the value of interior design.
Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, ASID strives to advance the interior design profession and demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively impact the world.
ASID COVID-19 pulse survey
In response to COVID-19 and its impact on the economy and the interior design industry, ASID has been conducting a “pulse survey” every two weeks (since March 31) to identify issues folks in the interior design industry are experiencing. This survey was developed to assess the impact on current projects and business performance, identify challenges professionals are facing and gather insights for advancing the profession during this time.
Key Findings From the Latest Survey
You can scroll down to see some of the specific questions and responses, but first, here is an overview from the latest survey (May 26):
1. We have softened our level of concern; however, are cautious in projections for business performance recovery time.
2. We anticipate the return to physical spaces but acknowledge virtual interactions as the norm, currently interested most in soaking up knowledge.
3. We are ready for the return and recovery, demonstrating workplace preparedness, resiliency, agility, and growth as we continue to face changes.
4. We hold true to the interior design practices for health, safety, and welfare, leading us into an optimistic future.
survey questions and responses
What is your current level of concern related to the impact of COVID-19 on your professional life?
What are your top 3 concerns with respect to COVID-19?
1. Business development: 66% (May 12 survey: 68%)
2. Client engagement: 43% (May 12 survey: 46%)
3. Product availability: 28% (May 12 survey: 27%)
1. Business development: 74% (May 12 survey: 68%)
2. Client/Industry engagement: 71% (May 12 survey: 63%)
3. Product availability (supply chain): 29% (May 12 survey: 27%)
4. Business operations: 29% (May 12 survey: 24%; fourth top concern)
Concern from the interior design industry and profession has further relaxed, with a six percent drop in the highest level of concern reported and the overall average continuing its decline from 3.72 to 3.58, a 3.6 percent change. When comparing to the average measured at the beginning of the ASID COVID-19 Pulse Survey series (4.03 in March 31 survey), this is an 11.3 percent decrease. Top areas of concern remain consistent: developing new business and engaging with clients are still, by far, top-of-mind for the interior design community. Business operations resurged as a top concern for manufacturers and retailers after briefly dropping out from the top three list in the previous survey.
When is your firm/practice expecting to reopen its physical space?
State restrictions continue to ease with more businesses and venues gradually reopening. A third of the interior design community indicated never closing their physical space of business operations and almost a quarter have already opened their space. Within three months, 93 percent of the interior design community expects to be working from their pre-COVID workplace.
Quite a few members of the interior design community (18%; 11% when excluding self-employed designers) had their firm/practice already prepared. The most popular measures implemented are increasing frequency of cleaning (53%), providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE; 41%), and installing hand sanitation stations (36%)—measures that align with recommended standards and guidelines. Changing schedule of workers, especially among firm employees (43% compared to 30% overall) followed in the top list of changes implemented in the workplace.
Compared to two weeks ago (mid-May), how has work changed for you?
The interior design community has exercised resiliency and preparedness showing the ability to spring back from constant change and disruption quickly. Despite the impact from changes in work reported in the previous survey as some states have begun to reopen, the interior design community has steadied out once more having half of the respondents indicating no impact on work in the past two weeks. The overall average immediately dropped back down—currently at its all-time low of 2.04.
If COVID-19 were to end today, how long would you estimate it would take for your company to get back to business performance of February 2020 (before widespread COVID-19 impact)?
The median for business performance recovery time estimate has entered into the three to six month range, with this period having the highest percentage (30%). Although the number of respondents that projected more than 12 months to get back to pre-COVID state if this were to end today (late May) eased back down to five percent, the interior design community seems to be a bit more conservative in their projections than before. Firm employees project longer recovery times than self-employed designers. Commercial designers have mixed projections for recovery time, having an even distribution across all time estimate ranges, excluding more than 12 months.
For more info on ASID, or to take the next survey (if you’re a member), visit ASID.org.