Riba survey shows deepening gloom over falling workloads

Architects are bracing themselves for further falls in workload and staffing in the new year, the latest monthly Riba survey of confidence has found.

The Riba’s “future trends workload” index, calculated by taking the balance of architects expecting a rise as opposed to those expecting a fall,  fell from -6% in October to -15% in November. The “future trends staffing index” also fell, from -8% to -12%.

However, architects were more confident about commercial work, with a balance of 18 expecting workload to rise, up from 17% in October, and practices in London were also more positive, with a balance of 4% expecting workloads to increase. The survey also found that small and medium-sized practices were more confident of getting work than larger architects.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Practice said: “Whilst a number of practices continue to report fierce fee competition and lack of an adequate funding pipeline, and even further job losses, others in the bespoke housing, conservation and commercial sectors are decidedly more optimistic, and some report that they are now actively recruiting new staff.  There remains great uncertainty about the impact of the public sector spending review.”