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Future Trends June 2016

  • Decline in future workload expectations but remaining in positive territory
  • Full impact of Brexit on architects’ workloads and staffing as yet unknown

The RIBA Future Trends Survey for June 2016 revealed a drop in the workload index (balance figure falling to +22, down from +30 in May). This moderate fall seems to have been driven at least partly by uncertainty around the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership.

Despite this, all nations and regions of the UK returned positive balance figures, with the North of England remaining the most optimistic. Large practices remained more confident about future workloads than either small or medium-sized practices.

The private housing sector and commercial sector forecasts fell (standing at +19 and +11 respectively). Meanwhile, the public sector forecast (+3) and community sector forecast (-3) changed little.

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index for June 2016 increased slightly to +14 (up from +11 in May). Medium-sized practices were most optimistic about increasing staff levels, with a balance figure of +50, compared with +36 for large practices and +8 for small practices.

RIBA Executive Director Members Adrian Dobson said:

“The survey for June was carried out in the period immediately before the EU referendum. Many reported trepidation about the uncertainty surrounding the referendum and the potential impact on future workloads. However, few reported any direct impact on the level of new orders at the time of the survey.

“It is only in the coming months that we can get an idea of any referendum effect on workloads and employment levels for architects.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact Callum Reilly in the RIBA Press Office: callum.reilly@riba.org 020 7307 3757
  2. 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.
  3. 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: www.architecture.com/RIBA/Professionalsupport/FutureTrendsSurvey.aspx
  4. 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
  5. 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 was +22.
  6. 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 was +14.
  7. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. www.architecture.com

    Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates www.twitter.com/RIBA
  8. The RIBA’s initial reaction and summary of the key implications and actions following the Brexit vote is available here: www.architecture.com/RIBA/Aboutus/Whoweare/BrexitBriefing.aspx

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