Concerns about the impact of coronavirus on businesses have begun to "soften", according to a survey by the American Society of Interior Designers, which found many professionals expect work to return to normal within six months.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has released its most recent findings from the Pulse survey it sends every other week to monitor the industry in the US and reactions to Covid-19 from designers, their clients and businesses.
The data reflects the community's perceptions of coronavirus by comparing this survey with the prior one on 12 May.
Impact of coronavirus on designers begins to ease
Half of the respondents reported that the pandemic had made no impact on their work, which is an improvement from 40 per cent found on the previous poll. Five per cent said their business faced a significant impact, also down from 14 per cent from the prior survey results.
"In this pulse survey, the level of concern from the impact of Covid-19 on professional life among the interior design community continues to soften," ASID said. "We have softened our level of concern; however, are cautious in projections for business performance recovery time," it added.
The survey is sent every other week to ASID members, and 175 people participated in the latest online poll that was open from 26 to 27 May. Business owners comprised 77 per cent of pollers, and 35 were employees of manufacturers and retailers.
Respondents were also more positive in this survey about the length of time needed for businesses to recover in response to the question, "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 (prior to widespread Covid-19 impact)?"
Thirty per cent of respondents said three to six months, and another 30 per cent said one to three months, both outweighing predictions for longer recovery periods. ASID said these results are higher than the prior poll "showing industry resiliency".
ASID community eager to reopen but still cautious
The series of charts and graphs outline how work has changed, sentiments on business recovery time and challenges like working in a virtual environment.
Designers expressed thoughts on their home states' reopening timelines in another chart, which compares results from 26 May on the right with those from 12 May on the left. The metrics show the ASID community's eagerness to reopen.
"We experience the impact of Covid-19 differently as some states and businesses begin to re-open, having mixed views on recovery time," ASID said.
"Over half of the respondents (54 per cent) thought their state's reopening timeline was early (18 per cent indicating it being too early), and these respondents most likely indicated higher levels of concern."
Businesses are slowly going back to normal on a state by state basis and many have begun to reopen. US states announced shutdown and stay-at-home measures individually, with the earliest being California on 19 March and the rest in the following days and weeks after.
"State restrictions continue to ease with more businesses and venues gradually reopening," ASID added. "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 per cent of the interior design community expects to be working from their pre-Covid workplace."
ASID survey predicts US design industry recovery time
The survey was created by ASID director of research and knowledge management Dr Susan Chung, who said it is a tool for predicting how long it could take for the US design industry to recover from coronavirus.
"Now is the time to take stock of where the industry and profession stands," Chung said.
"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 organisational level."
The data is used to inform the industry and to help identify best practices, and also guide potential research and provide opportunities the industry needs to move forward.
A number of trend reports have been gathered to speculate on the impact of Covid-19 on various fields. They include Bompas & Parr's Fluid Landscapes report and a restaurant report by Dubai-based studio Roar. Trend forecaster Li Edelkoort voiced her concerns early on about the pandemic, while Ukrainian architect Sergey Makhno predicted homes will change once the pandemic is over.