I think it’s safe to say, we’ve all been affected by the current COVID-19 crisis and many of us are still facing enormous uncertainty as we have been forced into an unknown world. We have lost our daily routines, many have lost jobs, and if you’ve been lucky enough to maintain work, you now have to adapt to sharing your professional and personal life all in the same place, your home. Many of us at TLR fall into the latter category, as we are largely involved in the creative industries and work on a freelance basis. One of the challenges we have faced is adapting to working from home instead of the TLR coworking spaces, which is a very strange feeling considering many of us spent the majority of our time at the spaces with our coworking family!

Luckily, the TLR family has been awesome and we have continued to stay connected online regardless of the current crisis. This has helped us to stay positive and keep our mental wellbeing intact by keeping in touch with fellow coworkers and friends. We have had live workout sessions, inspiration sessions and we maintained our TGIF sessions online!

A TLR online gathering

Furthermore, the TLR offices are now back up and running and it’s been fantastic to see everyone’s wonderful faces again! Our seating has been completely rearranged with various safety measures put in place to create a safe environment for everyone.

TLR Soho with desks 2m apart

However, despite keeping the online community going and now reopening our spaces, the COVID-19 crisis has impacted many of the creative industries significantly. This has given rise to the current research by the European Creative Hubs Network (ECHN) that aims to understand the ways in which cultural and creative workers are dealing with the changed conditions of work and everyday life in times of the pandemic. The research is supported by the European Commission and will provide preliminary insights to help key stakeholders develop effective policies and support mechanisms that will ease the negative effects of the crisis. The research is covering all 27 member state countries, including the UK, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Moldova.

The research concerns all creative and cultural industry sectors from architecture, film / video / music production and photography, up to all design-related fields, advertising, marketing and communication, software and video game development. Furthermore, research & development, creative and art industries, and finally, museums and cultural heritage industries are all included in this research too. It is part of the EU-funded Makers Mobility Exchange project involving many stakeholders such as the European Creative Hubs Network as the project coordinator in partnership with Fab Lab Barcelona, UPTEC and Makery.

However, in order to obtain concrete data and have comparable figures between countries, a huge 35.000 surveys across Europe need to be completed. So we ask you to please share the survey below and help the ECHN reach their goal. Don’t panic as all responses will be anonymous and the survey will be open until the 30th of September 2020, so you still have time! The results will be published in due course and the link to the survey can be found here: https://www.1ka.si/a/271744

The ECHN (European Creative Hubs Network) is a peer-led network with a mission to enhance the creative, economic and social impact of hubs. There are many existing creative and cultural networks in Europe, however, none are specifically tailored to support physical spaces that provide services to multiple creative businesses. As focal points for creative businesses, hubs offer the most effective way to support the growth and development of creative industries. To achieve this, hubs themselves need to network, to pool resources, share best practices, and build on advocacy, policy and opportunities. It is clear that the European Creative Hubs Network offers the best route to support hubs, and hence Europe’s creative industries.