Change is inevitable, but it isn’t always easy—especially in the workplace. It can be especially difficult for creative professionals to adapt to advancements in technology, according to new research from The Creative Group, a division of global staffing firm Robert Half.

The firm recently surveyed advertising and marketing managers about how their teams cope with different types of change. Almost half of respondents (46 percent) cited tech changes as tough to adapt to. Fewer reported that changes in internal processes and procedures, personnel, and business direction are problematic for their employees.

“Change can be daunting, but it also opens the door to improved business approaches and avenues for companies and professionals,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, in a news release. “Managers and employees who embrace change and look for opportunities to leverage new technology and ways of working will be best poised for success and growth in the future.”

Technology’s impact on the creative workplace

Digital transformation is disrupting creative teams in profound ways, according to Robert Half’s Jobs and AI Anxietyreport. More than 1,200 managers, including 250 in the advertising and marketing fields, were surveyed for the research to find out how they think emerging technologies will transform the nature of jobs in the future. Following are five key findings:

New technology taking hold

Advertising and marketing managers predict artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, virtual reality, and automation will be the most disruptive technologies to the creative workplace in the next five years.

Multiple obstacles to technology adoption

Resistance to change is reportedly the top barrier to adapting to new technologies for creative teams, followed by difficult integration with legacy systems and processes.

Additional skills required

Nearly half of advertising and marketing managers (48 percent) said technological advancements will require new skills from employees; 55 percent see the demand for soft skills increasing, with the greatest need for strategic thinking, leadership and communication.

Preparing for change

Most companies (87 percent) will provide professional development opportunities to help creative employees learn about new technologies, the most common methods being in-person training, seminars or classes, and online courses.

Hiring to address gaps

Half of advertising and marketing managers plan to bring in specialized talent to ensure their teams have the requisite skills to take advantage of new technologies. Of those, 76 percent admitted it won’t be easy to find professionals with expertise in the technologies their company will be implementing.

Domeyer added, “Investing time and resources into change management and upskilling staff is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape—and it can pay big dividends. When employees feel they have the support and knowledge to navigate digital transformation, they’re more likely to be engaged, productive and excited about the future.”

Download the full report here.

5 ways to help creative teams adapt to technological change

The online surveys were developed by The Creative Group and Robert Half and conducted by a leading independent research firm. The Creative Group survey is based on responses from 400 advertising and marketing managers who work full time at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States. The Robert Half survey developed for the Jobs and AI Anxiety report includes responses from 250 advertising and marketing managers in the United States.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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