In architecture, it seems burnout is an all-or-nothing phenomenon. The feelings of emotional or physical exhaustion or waning motivation creep in, but often get swept under the rug, considered to be only a temporary state. “Once we get past that deadline…” “As soon as we work through those changes…” “When we get that permit…” The reality is that regular long hours, tight deadlines, untenable stress levels, and work-life imbalance are like plaque building up on your mental wellness. If unchecked, cavities develop. Without any intervention, cavities decay until they cause pain and deterioration. A 2021 study from project management software company Monograph found 96.9% of architects reported some form of burnout. So, the question is, how do we as a profession save our most valuable resources before they completely deteriorate?


Check out the work of Joann Lui. She was a practicing architect before becoming a personal brand coach. Prior to the pandemic, Joann started the Women Architects Collective. It is a place for women in architecture and design to build careers they love. Last week, Lui convened a conference billed to “address burnout and take back control of your mental health.” PRISM sponsored the Mental Health in Architecture Summit 2023. Jing spoke on a panel that addressed Parenthood in Architecture. It was an opportunity to share her experience as a working mom and manager of a working moms team. The real benefit though, was hearing from the other panelists about their mental health strategies to balance work and family, and getting input from attendees. When we become complacent about our mental health, the plaque starts building up. Jing is always happy to discuss this critical topic with other firm leaders and professionals. Please reach out at any time.

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