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ASID develops community pulse surveys to analyze COVID-19 impact

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has launched a bi-weekly community survey to identify industry concerns, map business performance, and provide collective insight to better support design professionals during the impact of COVID-19. The first survey was conducted the week of March 31, 2020, and received 1,299 complete responses that shed light on top professional concerns, estimated recovery times, proposed future changes and new business implementations, and more. 

“ASID is dedicated to providing the design industry with timely, solution-focused information to better prepare us to conquer the challenges of COVID-19 and move forward together,” explains Randy Fiser, HON. FASID, ASID CEO. “These ongoing surveys will continually collect valuable insight from our community, providing quantitative, qualitative and comparative data that will help designers and businesses work towards recovery, gain new ideas for their own professional advancement, and come out stronger on the other side.”

The inaugural survey was created to gather general industry concerns and thoughts, assess impact of current projects and business performance, identify professional challenges, evaluate demand for resources, and tap into creative ideas. 1,149 designers (79 percent business owners) and 150 employees of manufacturers and retailers participated and responded within 36 hours. Respondent demographics included various career stages, firm sizes, geographic locations, and a diverse list of practice areas, with the majority (46 percent) being single-family residential. 

The March 31, 2020 pulse survey report’s key findings include: 

  • Level of COVID-19 Concern: On a rising scale of 1-5, the majority of design professionals (42 percent) rank their current level of concern related to the impact of COVID-19 on their professional life at the highest level (5 – High concern: anxiety from disruption and uncertainty)
  • Top COVID-19 Concerns (Interior Designers): Business Development (59 percent); Client Engagement (36 percent); Construction/Installation (31 percent) 
  • Top COVID-19 Concerns (Manufacturers and Retailers): Business Development (56 percent); Business Operations (49 percent); Invoice payment (49 percent) 
  • Business Resource Needs: The top resources designers are in immediate need of are access to project sites (58 percent), access to product samples (31 percent) and getting business consultation (19 percent)
  • Impact on Design Business: 48 percent of respondents indicated major adjustments had been made to their practice. More firm employees indicated experiencing a significant impact (50 percent) than business owners (46 percent)
  • Estimated Industry Recovery Time: Despite a high level of concern, the industry is optimistic in its recovery, with the majority (38 percent) of respondents estimating it would take 1-3 months to recover back to pre-COVID 19 business conditions, if the pandemic were to end today

The pulse survey is ASID’s first step in providing in-depth research findings on how the pandemic has affected the design world. The Society has also announced a forthcoming resiliency study, which will track the industry and profession’s health from practitioners, firm leaders, retailers, and manufacturers during, shortly after, and a year after the pandemic to assess the resilience of the interior design community. The first-phase study will focus on agility and adaptability in the face of disruption, the second will track industry and profession strength during recovery, and the final will identify changes in the industry and new best practices.

ASID Director, Research & Knowledge Management Dr. Susan Chung, notes, “Now is the time to take stock of where the industry and profession stands. By finding these touchpoints throughout and after COVID-19, we will be able to offer a holistic view of the health of our interior design community and develop new best practices to assist the industry at an individual and organizational level.” 

The full survey findings from ASID’s March 31, 2020 pulse survey are available online at  asid.org/resources/covid-19/pulse-survey, with the next survey available on April 14, 2020. Survey results will be updated with the most recent findings every first and third Monday of the month.