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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: May 2020

After dropping to an historic low of -82 in April, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index rose to -49 this month. While 62% of architects expect their workload to decrease in the next three months, 13% anticipate an increase, up from just 2% in April.

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index also increased seven points to -30.

The findings from this month’s survey also show:

  • Current workloads remain at significantly reduced levels – down 33% compared to May 2019
  • 73% of respondents expect profits to fall over the next 12 months – within that, 8% consider that their practice is unlikely to remain viable
  • 22% of architectural staff have been furloughed – an increase of 8% from April

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.

You can also view the Future Trends 2019 survey results.

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