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Time is money - except in practice

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Although everybody else gets extra pay for working overtime, few architects do. I have never understood why.

The universal principle is that you get paid for what you do. It is a principle to which, naturally, partners and directors tenaciously adhere - in their own cases. And they pay less to people who work part-time, right? Also, in the outside world you get a higher hourly rate for working during your precious leisure hours, ie when you should be in the wine bar extending your circle of acquaintances of the opposite sex or watching telly over a takeaway and a six-pack.

None of this seems to apply to architectural staff. The old story is wheeled out about pulling together as a team, being a professional, commitment to the project.

On inspection, the latter actually means commitment to the health of the partners' bank balances. And worse, there is the peer pressure of your feeble fellow AutoCADfodder.

All of a sudden I have been transported to Japan. There, oddly enough despite the long hours everybody spends in unpaid overtime, the average architect's output is no more than if they had worked a normal seven-and-ahalf-hour day. Surely that can't be true here too? Oh, and on the topic of professional, I'd just like to point out that golf instructors are called professionals, as are habitual criminals who have avoided incarceration.

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