WeTransfer Ideas Report 2020 says the pandemic made people more creative

The third annual survey of those working in the global creative industries found that nearly half of respondents had more creative ideas, and those in new jobs even more so.

3 December 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

WeTransfer has released the results of its third annual Ideas Report, which this year surveyed 35,000 people in 183 countries working in the creative industry. This year the company looked to explore how a global pandemic affected creative ideas, and reports that 45 percent of respondents “had more creative ideas” this year due to changes in their working environment, and a third of people felt more creative than usual, while a fifth felt more inspired. Forty per cent of people felt more confident in their ideas than before the pandemic.

The “brave soldiers” who’ve taken on new jobs this year reported the highest levels of creativity, with over 61 per cent of people in new jobs saying they’re having more creative ideas than ever. In its extensive report, WeTransfer poses the questions “Does creativity thrive outside of our comfort zones, or is it an effective coping mechanism when times get tough?”

In 2018 and 2019, work was the number one distraction from creative ideas, but this year work was far less of a distraction. The report says “staying inside” was the number one thing distracting respondents from having creative sparks, followed by money worries, social media and TV and the effects of the pandemic. Mental health also featured prominently as a blocker to creativity, as well as racial and political issues.


WeTransfer Ideas Report 2020 (Copyright © WeTransfer, 2020)

It seems the pandemic has had a more damaging effect on women’s confidence in ideas than their male counterparts, with the report finding that women are “more likely to feel depressed and concerned about the future, [with] this having an impact on their creative ideas”. When getting started on a new idea, 42 per cent of women question if they have the skills to pull it off, whereas only 29 per cent of men ask themselves the same question.

“Sadly this is nothing new,” the report states. “We already know women are more likely to suffer from impostor syndrome. But Covid-19 is setting many women in the workplace back even further. How can we, as a creative industry, get on top of this before we miss out on more great ideas from more diverse voices?”

Finally, the report found that family and friends have been the main source of inspiration during the pandemic for nearly half of respondents, while 40 per cent cited nature as their go-to source, and 28 per cent looked to entertainment and the media.

You can read the full report here, and play WeTransfer’s online marble game that asks five questions to find out how your 2020 compares to those surveyed for the report. You can also watch five talks by creatives including Natasha Jen and Antwaun Sargent, who reflect on the year and the report, and share personal mantras for the future.

GalleryWeTransfer Ideas Report 2020 (Copyright © WeTransfer, 2020)

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WeTransfer Ideas Report 2020 (Copyright © WeTransfer, 2020)

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, now overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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