The cost of caring

In this article, Byron Kinnaird and Liz Battiston share some of the findings of the Wellbeing of Architects survey of practitioners completed in 2021, including some direct examples of what practitioners had to say about the wellbeing in architecture, and what they thought could be done to improve the situation.

The article shares how respondents said that the biggest factors that were negatively affecting their wellbeing were timelines, deadlines and inadequate resourcing of project with inadequate fees. As one put it, “clients and builders expect everything from us and don’t want to pay for what we’re worth.” Further compounding this was a sense of internal pressure within the profession: “We have devalued ourselves as a profession. We compete with each other for jobs by reducing fees instead of standing together. We’ve let go of our power in the industry.”

Respondents to the survey also had positive experiences to share, and saw ways forward for the profession. “If the architecture industry could band together to stand up […] there is a hope of substantial change.” As another shared: “I work in a practice that values the wellbeing of its staff and tries to assist with flexible working arrangements, additional days of ‘office leave’ beyond annual leave, but it is hard to change the economics of a profession…”

These voices of the architectural community are encouraging, and express commitment and optimism to improve the wellbeing of people working in architecture.

Read the article here