28 May 2021

Spring Pulse Survey shows improved market conditions

ITI's latest Pulse Survey reveals an improvement in market conditions for members since the autumn, suggesting that the negative impacts arising from the pandemic have diminished.
56% of respondents were feeling positive about the business environment (versus 38% in the autumn survey).
 
64% had gained new business over the last 12 months, a rise of 6% from last October. 18% were receiving more work from current clients (versus 12% previously).
 
In relation to speed of getting paid, 81% said there had been no significant change over the last two years, 12% that it was taking longer, and 7% that it was quicker. These are very similar results to the responses received to this question when originally asked in autumn 2019, suggesting that the pandemic has not had any significant impact in this area.
 
21% of respondents said that they had less work now as a result of COVID. This compares to 55% in autumn 2020 and 67% in spring 2020. 32% said that work levels had declined but subsequently partially or largely recovered. 20% said COVID had not impacted on their work at all, with this rising to 27% for those working in-house.
 
Our first survey impacted by the pandemic (spring 2020) revealed significant market challenges for many members, with interpreters particularly hard hit. The recovery for interpreters also seems to have been slower. 39% said they were receiving less work now as a result of COVID (compared to 21% of the whole sample). 44% were positive about the business environment (versus 56%). However, the number of interpreter respondents reporting new client gains has increased since the last survey (68% versus 44%); and fewer are reporting less work from existing clients (56% versus 64%).
 
The pandemic had caused 50% of all respondents to reassess the sustainability of current clients. However, there was quite a spread of responses as regards the extent to which members felt they had changed their approach to developing their businesses to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

In relation to changed use of technology over the course of the pandemic, 64% of respondents had made changes, with 34% introducing changes of a more substantial nature. 

The greater requirement for interpreters to adapt the way in which they operate in order to be able to continue working was reflected in their responses to this technology question, with 52% making significant changes (versus 15% of the whole group).

The in-house group of respondents (largely translators) had also seen significantly more technology changes, with 61% reporting some or significant changes (versus 34% of the whole group).