Time Management for Architects


For Dr. Kate Sang, associate professor in management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, the work life of architects provided a rich vein of material to mine.

A career path filled with all-night work sessions and sprints to finish submissions, the profession provided an ideal exploration of work-life balance. But after interviewing numerous firms and writing academic papers on the subject, especially the challenges faced by female architects, Sang has seen how the scales are severely tilted.

“I kept hearing architecture is a lifestyle, a career, not a job, and that you never stop being creative,” says Sang, who observed that the reality is as much about economics as it is about creative drive. “The vast amount of architects are self-employed, which leads to a feeling that you can never turn down work, and you have to go to construction sites during the day and work nights and weekends.”

Sang’s conclusions aren’t a surprise to many in the field; the picture she paints of parents struggling under the burden of trying to be there for their children and the job, where full time may mean 70 hours a week, is all too common. She spoke to many older, male architects during the course of her research who felt like they didn’t spend enough time with their wives and children.

time management for architects

Client demands, uneven workflows, and the necessity of carving out time for creativity creates a hectic routine filled with multitasking, one often exacerbated by company policies built around this lifestyle. Sang recalls speaking to a firm that had won an award for offering the best work-life balance to its employees. When she asked them about maternity leave, they didn’t actually have a policy in place.

These industry challenges can make worries about time management and work-life balance seem like distant priorities. But Sang and other experts all believe that with discipline and prioritization, there are ways to do more with less, to find healthier ways to multitask and time for creativity.

Read the full article here


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