AILA reveals results of its first COVID-19 survey

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has released the results of its first “member health check” survey of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australian landscape architecture practices.

The first installment of the survey, launched in mid-March drew 188 responses from practices in all states, including small practices with between 1 to 5 employees and large practices spread across multiple locations with more than 100 staff. The survey aims to develop “a clearer understanding of the preparedness of the [landscape architecture] profession for COVID-19 impacts. [The survey] will inform material AILA develops to support members and an overall understanding of concerns regarding impacts on the industry.”

Preliminary results from the survey reveal landscape architecture practices have some concerns about the effect of the pandemic on workflow and design processes. The survey identified that while less than 20 percent of respondent practices had experienced delayed or cancelled work as a consequence of the outbreak, nearly 40 percent were anticipating this to occur in the future.

The survey also looked into the practices’ remote working arrangements. At the time of the survey, around 85 percent of practices had discussed plans for dealing with COVI9-19 in their offices, with only 25 percent of practices reporting no changes to their current workplace measures. Most respondents said they would experience some technical difficulties while working remotely.

Several significant challenges were identified in the survey: more than 85 percent of the respondent practices expressed challenges related to client meetings and managing immovable contract deadlines; close to 90 percent saw challenges from reliance on other parties (for example, consultants); and around 22 percent understood the impact of carer duties on work (for example, children, parents) as very challenging. Around 73 percent of respondents felt that the impact COVID-19 was having on their office culture was challenging.

The survey also looked into practices’ workloads in relation to their staff numbers, with 88 percent responding at the time that they had either a “good balance” or “too much work.”

AILA is currently conducting a second survey that seeks to gauge how working from home is impacting practices and the mental wellbeing of staff, further updates on the impact of the pandemic on work delays and cancellations, what practices see as the biggest challenges to their workplaces, as well as what practices see as the biggest challenges to the landscape architecture profession.

To access the full results of the first survey, go here.

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects has begun posting resources for practices relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be accessed here.

The second AILA COVID-19 member health check survey closes on Friday 17 April and can be completed here.

If you would like to share how your practice is managing during this time, please contact us at landscape@archmedia.com.au.

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