Dezeen Magazine

RIBA surveys coronavirus impact

Coronavirus "disaster" sees 45 per cent of architects lose income in UK

A survey conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects has found that 45 per cent of architects have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic, while almost quarter are struggling mentally.

The survey found that the disruption caused by the necessary measures to slow the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 are having a huge impact on the profession.

"The findings of this survey show how that Covid-19 is having a severe impact on architects, professionally and personally," said RIBA CEO Alan Vallance.

"For many architects, their work is more than a way to earn a living, and to see decades of hard work threatened by circumstances none of us can have foreseen is a disaster."

Cancelled projects and cash flow shortages

Almost 80 per cent of respondents reported project delays, with over a third seeing their projects cancelled entirely.

Of those surveyed, 59 per cent reported a drop in workload for their practice, and 57 per cent had seen decreased cash flow.

Only one per cent had been made redundant, but 45 per cent reported a loss of income and 33 per cent are looking into applying to HMRC for an extension on their tax bills.

Over 80 per cent of the 1,000 architects surveyed are now working from home, but almost a third said that the disruption of family or caring responsibilities was affecting their ability to work.

Mounting pressure on mental health 

Isolation and stress over the uncertainty had 23 per cent of architects reporting a negative impact on their mental health.

"During this extremely unsettling time, I call on employers to prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of their staff," said Vallance.

"This means enabling them to work from home flexibly where possible, and taking advantage of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme," he added.

"Above all else, we must all prioritise our own physical and mental health, and seek support if needed."

The RIBA said it was lobbying the government to protect architect's incomes and asking for grants for practices to rent computer equipment for staff that need to work from home.

Vallance has been appointed to temporarily lead the RIBA after its president Alan Jones stood down unexpectedly last week.

Main image is by Mrkaushikkashish from Pixabay.