RIBA Future Trends Survey results for June 2013

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published the results of the June 2013 Future Trends survey, the monthly barometer measuring anticipated workload and staffing confidence amongst architects.

Following a minor fall, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index bounced back to +17 in June, up from +12 in May 2013. The Workload Index indicator has been in positive territory since October 2012. Medium-sized practices (11 – 50 staff) and large practices (51+ staff) are currently most positive about the prospect of an improvement in workloads during the next quarter.

UK nations and regions, except for Northern Ireland, have  continued to return positive workload forecast balance figures, with the South of England (balance figure +22) being the most optimistic. 

Commercial sector forecasts saw the most significant increase in June 2013 rising to a balance figure of +8 from the May 2013 level of +2, the private housing sector forecast however fell back to +12 in June 2013 from +23 in May 2013, but remains strongly in positive territory.   RIBA practices currently predict little change for overall workloads in the public and community sectors.

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index fell marginally to +1 in June 2013 compared with +3 in May 2013 but remains positive. The index for temporary staffing also increased (up to +5 in June 2013 from +1 in May 2013).

Practices based in Scotland (balance figure +13) were the most optimistic about future staffing levels.

In June 2013, the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed in the last month was 23%, improving from 25% in May. 

RIBA Executive Director Membership & Profession, Richard Brindley said:

“Access to development finance for commercial projects, intense fee competition for domestic work, and the complexity and costs of public procurement processes remain the main challenges for architects. Despite these concerns we are now starting to see an increase in the number of RIBA members reporting an increase in inquiries and feasibility commissions.”



Notes to editors

  1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
  3. Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.
  4. The Future Trends Survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month at: http://www.architecture.com/FindOutAbout/FutureTrendsSurvey/FutureTrendsSurvey.aspx - the survey will be available from 25 July 2013  
  5. To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email practice@riba.org.  The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence.
  6. The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work.  This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index, which for June 2013 was +17
  7. The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff.  This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index, which for June 2013 was +1