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Six in 10 project professionals say their main project has been impacted by recent economic events in the UK

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A new survey by Association for Project Management (APM) reveals the impact of recent economic events in the UK and the cost of living crisis on projects and the people who deliver them.  

Over 1,000 project professionals working in the UK were surveyed by research company Censuswide for APM. The majority (63 per cent) say their main project has been impacted by the recent economic instability – such as rising energy prices, inflation, and interest rate increases.

Of those project managers who said their project has been affected, the most popular responses to reasons why include:

  • Project has been accelerated – 36 per cent
  • Changes to funding of project – 35 per cent
  • Impact on project planning – 34 per cent
  • Changes to supply and procurement - 34 per cent

APM’s survey also reveals what project professionals think the UK government should prioritise in order to provide greater economic stability for projects and project professionals. Nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) say investing in infrastructure is most important, 37 per cent say investing in education should be prioritised, and 35 per cent say sourcing new energy supplies is key to helping maintain stability.

The survey also reveals the impact the cost of living crisis is having on the personal wellbeing of project professionals. More than six in 10 (61 per cent) of respondents say that their wellbeing has been negatively impacted by the current situation in the UK.  

However, the findings also show that employers are responding, with 65 per cent of respondents saying their employer is helping their staff with the cost of living. The ways in which employers are responding include:

  • Helping with expenses, such as travel costs – 39 per cent of respondents say their employer is doing this
  • Providing a one-off cost of living support payment to staff – 37 per cent
  • Lobbying government to do more to tackle the cost-of-living crisis – 37 per cent
  • Increasing wages/salaries for employees – 34 per cent
  • Providing financial wellbeing assistance – 33 per cent

Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of APM, said: “Individuals and industries across the UK are currently dealing with the cost of living crisis, as shown by the findings of our latest survey. It is clear that many projects are being impacted by the recent economic events. What’s more, a high number of project professionals say their wellbeing has been negatively impacted.

“It is positive to see the high number of respondents who say their organisation does already have certain schemes in place to support employees financially, whether it be helping with expenses or providing one-off cost of living payments for staff. However, we urge all employers to take notice of the findings of our survey and continue to put the appropriate support mechanisms in place for the wellbeing of their employees, which in turn will help the longer term success of project delivery in the UK.”

Looking ahead to the future challenges facing the project profession over the next five years, the challenges most commonly cited by survey respondents were tackling climate change and supporting clean growth and sustainability (19 per cent), the cost of energy and fuel (19 per cent), artificial intelligence, automation and big data (18 per cent), and international trade wars and uncertainty (18 per cent).

APM offers a mental health toolkit to support project professionals who have been affected by recent events, as well as ideas for workplace improvements.




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