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The job satisfaction of UK architects and relationships with work-life balance and turnover intentions

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Purpose ‐ There is evidence that those working within the construction industry are exposed to a number of stressors which potentially negatively impact well-being, namely; long working hours, high workload, poor work-life balance, low sense of professional worth and lack of job security. Additionally there is some evidence architects may also be vulnerable to an erosion of professional status, low pay and limited scope to use their creative skills. This paper aims to explore the job satisfaction of architects who are currently employed within the UK. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A questionnaire is used to elicit data from 110 practising architects on their occupational well-being and work-life balance. Findings ‐ The results reveal that between 20 and 40 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with their rate of pay, practice management, promotion prospects, working hours and opportunity to use their abilities. Additionally the majority of respondents report some work-life balance difficulties and approximately one-third were considering leaving their current employer. The causes of poor well-being are associated with organisational factors rather than factors intrinsic to the work of an architect. Further analysis demonstrates that those who are self employed may experience better occupational well-being. Research limitations/implications ‐ The small sample size means that any generalisations to the entire architectural profession should be treated with caution. A cross-sectional approach can only highlight the existence of relationships between variables; it cannot comment on their exact nature. Originality/value ‐ The implications for the profession are discussed and tentative recommendations put forward as to how the profession may address the situation.
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Keywords: Architecture; Employee turnover; Job satisfaction; Self employed workers; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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