A recent global study commissioned by IKEA of more than 22,000 people in 22 markets, has highlighted that many individuals do not feel ‘at home’ in the place they live.

This is down to a number of reasons including the social trend for house sharing, and urbanisation creating a wealth of comfortable communal spaces for both work and leisure.

But it would seem that technology enabling home working is a key factor that is affecting people’s ability to separate their professional and personal lives. For some, this makes them feel like the place where they live is no longer somewhere for ‘down time’.

The survey results ­– published in The Life at Home Report 2018 – reveal how the concept of a ‘home’ has evolved over recent years, making it a place for more than just rest and relaxation.

Championing worklife

This supports the findings of our report, where we explored the blurring lines between work and home life - what we call ‘worklife’.

With people’s personal and professional lives now more intertwined than ever before, homeworking has become widely adopted by businesses across Europe. A fact confirmed in both IKEA’s study and our own - with technology highlighted as one of the key factors affecting how people feel when ‘at home’.

In fact, IKEA’s study revealed that for one in four people, work and where they live are one and the same, with a spare room or the kitchen being their permanent workplace
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What’s more, a quarter of their survey participants had even adapted their dwellings for rental sites such as Airbnb.

So, as well as an increasing amount of people undertaking work-related tasks from their homes, it seems that for a lot of people this space is also fast becoming a business in its own right.

Fighting for flex

It’s perhaps unsurprising then that the majority of the European employees we surveyed prefer to work in an office than anywhere else. Although they would like to see more flexibility in terms of when they work, with an option to complete tasks around other commitments occasionally – resulting in a better ‘worklife’ – many are keen to keep their place of residence for recreational activities.

Therefore, in a world of increasing flexibility it seems that, for a substantial number of people, structure in the form of a dedicated workplace is more welcome than ever before.

Anette Timmer EMEA Marketing Director Carpets/Workplace

Anette is passionate about driving the debate around employee health & wellbeing through sustainable design innovation and industry collaboration.

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