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Continuing positive trends recorded in 2018 so far, the latest RIBA Future Trends Workload Index rose from +13 in April to +24 during May.

With a balance figure of +16, London practices have returned to a positive trajectory, despite being the most pessimistic about medium-term workloads in RIBA's geographical analysis.

The statistics

Practices within the northern powerhouse region were shown to be the most positive. From most to least optimistic were:

  • North of England (+46)
  • Wales and the West (+28)
  • South of England (+24)
  • The Midlands and East Anglia (+18)
  • Scotland (+17)

A positive outlook

Large practices with over 51 members of staff returned a balance figure of +80, while this reduced to +25 and +23 for medium (11-50 staff) and small (1-10 staff) practices.

Also moving in a positive direction during the survey were the private housing sector (+22), the commercial sector (+11) and public sector (+3), with only the community sector showing a negative movement in forecasted workload (down to +3 from +7 in April).

Matching performance in the Workload Index, North England practices were also the most positive about the prospect of hiring more staff during the next quarter, returning +23 – notably higher than muted expectations in London (+3).

Again, large practices (51+ staff) returned the highest balance figure of +80, followed by medium-sized practices with +18 and small practices with +9.

An opportunity to learn

We are fortunate enough to live and work in a country that is steeped with architectural heritage which in turn has inspired thousands of talented people to choose a career in architecture, so it is no surprise that the future looks bright for Architectural practices.

Sunsquare is a design led company, and since its inception in 2004 we have worked closely with architects to turn design concepts into reality, with stunning results. Our RIBA approved CPD seminar ‘Let there be light, air, and access’ is designed to outline the benefits of different types of rooflights in the built environment. If you would like to arrange a seminar, please contact Sunsquare at

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