How COVID-19 Changed the Way We Think About Office Technology [New Research]

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The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we think about a lot of things.

From the size of our weddings and special events to the comfort level of our shorts and stay-at-home clothes, we have reconsidered the size, shape, plus necessity of many, many elements in our lives.

Work is one of these elements, if not usually the one. We’ve asked ourselves (and our employers) questions like:

  • “Can I get as much completed at home as I would at the office? ”
  • “How do I stay connected to my team if we’re all remote? ”, and
  • “Is it really essential to have as many meetings as I did before ? ”

While we’ve all found different answers to these questions, one thing is constant: COVID-19 has forced us to learn the way to stay connected, motivated, and productive in new ways.

Canva + HubSpot Marketing Survey

In October, we teamed up with Canva to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected advertising leaders, their resources, plus their teams. We selected 502 marketing leaders (mostly senior-level marketing managers, company directors, VPs, and CMOs) from across the United States and questioned them how COVID-19 offers affected their teams, processes, and priorities.

The results have been in, and our findings are pointing towards a new way of thinking about work — especially the tools and technologies we use to get stuff performed.

Download the research here, and maintain reading to unpack some of our most important findings.

Exactly how COVID-19 Changed the Way We Think and Use Office Technologies

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has massively impacted where we now work. From 500+ marketing leaders, 73% reported that they’ve been working remotely for over three months.

This will likely be the “new normal” for some. A recent Gartner vote revealed that 48% associated with employees will likely work distantly at least part of the time after COVID-19, versus 30% doing this before the pandemic.

hubspot marketing study remote work statistic

Yet COVID-19 hasn’t just impacted where we work — it has also changed how we work. Many of the participants reported new challenges in their day-to-day projects and processes:

    • Decision-making : Over 50% agreed that their team’s ability to make decisions has been negatively impacted.
  • Planning : 72% agreed that will their planning process has been more difficult, and over 70% have seen their planning construction dramatically change with the impact of COVID.
  • Feedback : More than 70% agreed that it is become more difficult to give plus receive effective feedback while working remotely.
  • Productivity : Over 66% agreed that their team’s productivity has dropped, and nearly 50% said they’ve battled to motivate their groups.

If you resonate with these findings, you’re not alone. It’s clear the particular COVID-19 has been tough around, regardless of your team dimension or industry. Let’s unpack some more detailed trends — and potentially permanent modifications — we’re seeing as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some organizations are outsourcing a lot more marketing projects.

Gartner found that the COVID-19 pandemic offers led 32% of institutions to replace full-time employees along with contingent workers and companies.

We see some of this reflected in our survey respondents’ post-pandemic resource planning:

Useful resource Pre-Pandemic Post-Pandemic
Growth marketing Majority in-house (64%) Shift to a lot more in-house (68%)
Design Majority outsourced (48%) Small shift to much more outsourced
Articles marketing Majority in-house (48%) Evened out
Web development Majority outsourced (50%) Shift to a lot more in-house
Social internet marketing Majority in-house (50%) Shift to more outsourced
Media buying Majority in-house (51%) No change
Affiliate marketing Vast majority in-house (55%) Shift in order to more in-house (58%)
SEO Majority in-house (55%) Shift to more outsourced
PAGE RANK Majority in-house (55%) Simply no change

Why might this particular be? For one, outsourcing is really a common cost-saving measure. It may also help meet demand.

fifty percent of respondents reported that it’s been more difficult for his or her teams to come up with creative content — perhaps outsourcing projects like content marketing and style has helped teams maintain their production cadence in times of stress and burnout (which we’ll explain below).

However , hiring contractors and external agency services requires increased communication and collaboration.

Much more when we could walk throughout the hall for a chat in a coworker’s desk or host in-person meetings with companies. During the pandemic, we’ve learned to replace these conversations with quick messages or movie calls — most likely utilizing a tool like Slack or Zoom.

Our respondents would agree. 75% reported that will instant messaging platforms such as Slack were “good” and “exceptional” at supporting cooperation. 72% rated the same for your level of usability for these tools.

If companies and teams weren’t using an instant messaging platform before the pandemic, it is highly likely that they are right now. The need for a tool like this furthermore arises when outsourcing projects. It’s more important than ever to remain aligned — especially when working with third-party contractors.

For those maintaining marketing in-house, new tools are needed.

You’ll see in the table above that many of our own survey respondents still reported keeping or shifting numerous resources in-house. This could also be in an effort to save money and fulfill demand — by using brand new tools and technologies to compensate for a lack of labor.

For instance , 44% of respondents reported that their need for new visual assets and image design has increased since the start of pandemic. 39% reported the demand has mostly stayed the same.

Regardless, this is a majority of marketers who need to maintain or boost their image design production — in the middle of a pandemic, no less. An identical number of respondents (38%) documented that their graphic style software did a “neutral, ” “poor, ” or even “terrible” job of helping collaboration within their team.

This presents a unique opportunity to use office technology and equipment like Canva — to back up increased customer demand whilst saving costs and assisting remote collaboration.

Another group of respondents (50%) reported viewing traffic to their website increase and the need for regular updates can also increase. Our study also uncovered that 16% of marketing experts find the usability and collaboration of their website content administration system (CMS) either “neutral, ” “poor, ” or even “terrible. ”

For those maintaining website management in-house, incorporating a tool like HubSpot CMS can vastly improve your team’s remote collaboration and productivity — all while conference the increased demand from your customers (which is a good factor! ).

Organizations are using technologies to monitor and support employees.

We’ve confirmed so far that will marketing teams have been pressed for productivity and collaboration while being asked to make more creative content to satisfy customer needs, employer demand — all in an ever-changing, pandemic-soaked market.

While office technology has never been more critical, neither has recognizing and acknowledging the barriers COVID-19 has created, such as an increased group workload and employee burnout (17%).

hubspot canva marketing study statistics

This rise in employee burnout has led to more discussion around the responsibility of employers to their staff members. A Deloitte study discovered that, as the “pandemic provides put more hours into the working day, ” organizations should do more than just foster open dialogue and open practices around wellbeing. Gartner agrees — these people theorize that COVID-19 provides expanded employee expectations of their employer as a “social back-up. ”

Technology has come in handy for non-work related needs, too. Zoom provides equipped teams to web host online happy hours, digital holiday parties, and even team-building activities. Companies are also sponsoring free telehealth and virtual therapy sessions.

Gartner also found that, in a less digital sense, employers are also providing “support includ[ing] enhanced sick leave, financial assistance, adjusted hours associated with operation and child care provisions. ”

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed how employers use office technology to understand not just the employee experience but additionally remote employee performance. The Gartner study found that 16% of employers are utilizing tools to monitor employees through virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and observing employee emails or even internal communications.

This trend started well before the outbreak, but it will continue to grow in popularity as more folks opt to permanently work distantly.

Over to You

As large and difficult as these COVID-19 shifts have been, for the time being, they are not going anywhere soon.

Listen to these emerging tendencies and invest in new procedures, tools, and technology within 2021. Doing so will help you fight these challenges and better motivate, monitor, and equip your remote teams. Remember, it’s your responsibility to assist them be productive in your own home, stay connected to their teams, and make room just for how the pandemic is affecting their own personal lives, too.

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