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Future Trends Survey 2020

Future Trends monitors the employment and business trends affecting the architectural profession. These are the survey results from 2020.

Latest report: July 2020

For the first time since COVID-19 lockdown in March, the RIBA Future Trends workload index is positive.

July saw a significant turnaround in architects’ confidence. In April, the Future Trends workload index stood at -82. There has been an 85 point rise in the Index since the lockdown nadir. Within a tumultuous five months we’ve seen the fastest and deepest collapse in architects’ confidence, followed by the strongest rally.

This nascent — but still fragile — recovery is driven by residential work. Small scale housing work is on the increase, as clients seek to adapt their homes to new ways of living and working.

Graphs of main findings

To see the three graphs of the main findings, please click on the left and right in the bar below.

  • The ‘RIBA Future Workload Index’ graph shows the difference between those expecting more work in the next three months, and those expecting less.
  • The ‘RIBA Staffing Index’ graph shows the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer.
  • 'Sectors' graph shows the difference between those expecting more work in the next three months, and those expecting less, in each of the four main work sectors.

Download the full report below.

About RIBA Future Trends

Launched as part of a suite of economy-focused initiatives, the survey is completed monthly by a sample representing a cross-section of members. The survey is focused on areas in which members may face potential difficulties, including workload, staff levels and work in specific sectors.

Monthly results are independently analysed in order to identify the employment and business trends affecting the profession and to help to identify implications for the profession and inform further RIBA activities.

The Future Trends survey was devised by the RIBA Research and Development and Practice departments and launched in January 2009. It is run in collaboration with The Fees Bureau, which conducts the surveys and analyses the data.

All reports for 2020 are available at the bottom of this page.

You can also view the Future Trends 2019 survey results.

Available Resources

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