The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for February 2012 has revealed that confidence concerning future workloads has grown for the second month in a row, and entered positive territory for the first time since August 2011. The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index for February 2012 stands at +9, rising significantly for the second month in a row compared to -2 in January 2012.
Medium sized practices (11-50 staff) were the most positive about future workload levels, returning a balance figure of +42. Large practices (51+ staff) returned a balance figure of +33, but small practices (1-10 staff) were more cautious with a balance figure of +4.
Practices in the North of England (balance figure -7) and Northern Ireland (balance figure -20) returned figures in negative territory.
The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index for February 2012 is -3 compared to -7 January 2012, indicating that the profession is not yet sufficiently confident about future workloads to be able to recruit new staff in any significant numbers in the short term.
"Whilst it is important to be measured in our response to two consecutive monthly Workload Index increases, the rise by 20 balance points over this short period appears to be an early indicator of a more optimistic outlook amongst practices," said Adrian Dobson, RIBA Director of Practice. "We will monitor this trend over the next two to three months to see if it gains momentum."