Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

AJ survey shows unpaid overtime is endemic

  • Comment

The results of the AJ’s study into the profession’s culture of excessive unpaid overtime made for depressing, if not entirely shocking, reading

Completed by around 400 architects, the poll revealed that nearly two-fifths (38.4 per cent) of architects worked a minimum of 10 hours’ overtime every week. Mostly for free.

Among the survey’s more extreme findings were the worrying statistic that almost 10 per cent of architects said they regularly slaved for an extra 20 hours a week above their contracted hours.

Nearly two thirds said they either rarely or never received time off in lieu. And when asked how the long-hours culture was changing, 36 per cent of respondents said it was getting worse, not better.

Architects’ willingness to work long hours for ‘their art’, and the expectation that they would continue to do so, were blamed for the unhealthy but increasingly rife work-heavy lifestyle. As Glasgow-based architect Alan Dunlop explained, these expectations begin at schools of architecture, where it is still looked upon as a ‘badge of honour’ to have worked an all-nighter before arriving at a studio, crit, or review.

‘This mentality carries through into practice, and is further aggravated by the general incompetence of architects to run a business properly, to charge appropriate fees for the work required and to say no when they are being exploited,’ he said.

Meanwhile RIBA president Stephen Hodder pointed the finger at the industry’s ‘legacy of fee cutting’ leading to issues with resourcing projects. Hodder added: ‘Architects need to set realistic fees for clients that fit in with their business planning – if you undervalue your services then you undervalue your staff.’

 

 

 

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.