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Job security in Architecture & Interior Design

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19/02/2021

Job Security

For the first time in the history of FRAME Recruitment’s annual employment survey, we asked those who were currently employed if they were concerned about their job security. 63% said yes. With some practices ceasing operations and high-profile layoffs announced in the media, the impact on those in the industry and their feelings of insecurity in their roles has been immense.

We must consider that Architecture and Interior Design has been one of the hardest-hit industries during this time, along with hospitality and travel. We would predict that those employed in these industries would feel a similar way.

Those with extended experience were more concerned about their job security than their counterparts with less experience. 68% of people with six to nine years’ experience were concerned, and 64% of those with over 10 years’ experience were too. Older survey respondents were more concerned than their younger colleagues, with 83% of 55 to 64 year olds agreeing.

Furlough has not created a feeling of security amongst employees and if anything, it is increasing their concern for their future career. For those who had been on furlough in 2020, 72% were concerned about their job security.

There will be an impact on employees of not only seeing their colleagues and other professionals in the market lose their jobs but also the lack of projects to work throughout the pandemic. Job insecurity comes at a cost to employees and has been linked to several adverse health outcomes, including anxiety, stress and loss of self-esteem.

We continued by asking what exactly was making them feel concerned about their job security. It was no surprise was that 33% were concerned because of COVID-19. We asked for more detail from respondents:

  • “The `lockdowns` and the furlough scheme can only go on for so long. Furlough is draining resources and we will have to suffer to pay for it. It is going to be a big hit when the chancellor has to start taxing everyone to get the pennies back.”
  • “A big recession is overdue. COVID-19, Brexit, stocks and shares are overvalued and the necessary correction will cause a recession, just like in 2007/8.”
  • “If we were not in a global pandemic, I would not be worried about my job security. Although these are tough times, I believe the worst is behind us.”

14% of those surveyed were concerned about their job security because of the ‘lack of feedback, reviews and progression plans’. We noticed that the commentary was similar to some of those who were concerned because of COVID-19. Lack of communication was flagged multiple times.

Martin Bennell, Managing Director of FRAME Recruitment said “In a period where the COVID-19 crisis is breeding uncertainty and emotional disruption, leaders in practices need to communicate to create clarity, set expectations, build resilience and catalyse positive change. Employees become concerned about their job security when they are not receiving feedback. Although many leaders have learnt that their practice cannot survive without a knowledgeable, engaged and aware workforce, clearly many are still not hitting the mark.

In the first few months of the pandemic, the topic of Brexit gained little traction. However, as the deal deadline has fast approached us, it has become a higher priority and 7% of those surveyed were most concerned about it in relation to their job security. They said:

  • “Brexit is potentially more damaging to the country as a whole than COVID-19. This is the single most damaging act of self-harm any country has enacted.”
  • “COVID-19 is only temporary and we will get over this, Brexit is a long-lasting issue.”
  • “The company I work for is already struggling as a result of the pandemic, Brexit will put even more stress on the business.”

 

You can read the full Architecture & Interior Design Employment and Industry Review 2021 here