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A New Era of Life at Home

[Life at Home 2020] Pulse Report #2 Redefining a Better Life at Home

We have released the ’Life at Home 2020’ Pulse Report #2 followed by first report in June. This second report explores how the experience of living through a global pandemic is influencing people’s emotional needs and re-shaping their relationships with their homes.

In the midst of a global pandemic, planning for the future is difficult. And yet, people have never had more time to reflect, reimagine and redefine a better life at home for themselves

While for many it feels like their countries are moving beyond the peak of the pandemic, there remains a looming sense of its presence, as they adjust to working from home for longer, to new rules for health and safety and to social distancing in and out of the home.

Life at Home is Uncertain

The Struggle to Adjust

Acting with caution

Wearing face masks and gloves, handwashing, avoiding handshakes and hugs, and maintaining distance when socialising - no longer can people complete simple actions without a thought. Making 'always on; micro decisions, both inside and outside their homes, makes the world outside feel tiring and stressful.

Staying Alert

New worries for the health and safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the world they interact with are strikingly prevalent among our households. As more people move through the streets, children return to school and businesses such as hairdressers reopen, many feel concerned about the possibility of infection and are standing watchful of all the possibilities.

Reworking the Home

New definition

Those who have the privilege of working from home are realising that this way of working and living will remain for the long term. So, they're actioning home improvements that didn't seem like a priority before. Setting up homes for 24/7 occupation is now a need that many are trying to satisfy- from investing in home office furniture to brightening up garden spaces.

Taking Time to Nurture Wellbeing

Day-in, day-out spent largely at home has started to take its toll, with many aware of the impact it's having on their mental and physical wellbeing. Whether struggling to find the time for exercise or the breathing space to disconnect, people are learning that looking after their wellbeing requires a consciously active approach.

Hope and Optimism for the Future Remains

Vision for Change

From crisis come altered perspectives. As the 'hamster wheel' of daily life has been paused, the past few months have given people a rare chance for deep self-reflection and re-evaluation.

Many are using this time to really consider what's important to them, what's important to them, and where they want to focus their time and energy. The result is a collective realisation that we can use this time as an opportunity to consciously reset and strive for a better version of the life we knew before the pandamic.

A Better Life At Home

Reflecting, Reimaging, Redefining

The optimism people are feeling is prompting the hope of a different kind of life at home beyond the pandemic. In this unusual time of reflection, many are questioning what's really important- and how they might shape a life in line with this.

Breaking and Remaking the Cycle

A Slower Pace of Life

For many people, this time jas offered a rare-but-much-needed pausing of life. Even as normality returns, home remains a place that protects us from the pace of the outside world. Our households tell us they've treasured this slower pace of life, and describe a new consciousness and intentionally- particularly when it comes to hobbies and self-care. People hope they'll be able to protect this time and not rush straight back into their previous way of living.

"If possible, it would be nice if we could be more conscious about the separation of home and work, trying as much as possible to finish work before going home, to avoid working from home." Mikael, Sweden

In the Messy Middle

This year, we've all experienced a global event like no other. Moving us from freedom into severe restrictions, and now emerging into something else, right now, we're all living in a new and unknown time- one we're calling 'the messy middle'. We've seen that by making more of the uncertain time between two normals, home can be our rock our stability and our certain place in an uncertain world.

In the ’Life at Home 2020’ Pulse Report #1, we explores the impact of the messy middle on the lives of families all around the world. It uses what has worked for them to suggest ways to help everyone make more of their homes and their lives, both right now and once it's all over.

Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way:

What makes a home?

Most of us describe our home by talking about the people we live with, the things we own, the amount of space we have, and the place we live in. These four dimensions help us explain how our homes are organised and what kinds of activities we usually do there. They reveal how much we have in common, even when each home can look and feel very different.

Home is where the heart is

Home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling. And we believe everyone deserves to feel at home, wherever and however they live. Our research has revealed five core emotional needs connected to life at home: privacy, security, comfort, ownership and belonging. When we have all these needs met, we are more likely to feel at home.

Home beyond four walls

Our homes feel smaller, smarter, busier and noisier than ever before, so it’s no wonder that when we can’t get what we need at home we often head outside. We can see that life at home is moving beyond four walls, as more people say they feel at home in their neighbourhoods and communities in addition to where they live.

Explore the Life at Home Report

Are you curious to learn more about homes all over the world? Explore our research and discover how you can create a better life at home, starting today.

Find out more by visiting: lifeathome.ikea.com