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Report Points to Lasting Changes in Household Dynamics

BENTON HARBOR, MI — The COVID-19 pandemic “has forever changed the world” including life at home, as people continue to look to their home for shelter and comfort from a chaotic world, according to newly conducted research conducted by home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corp.

The Benton Harbor, MI-based manufacturer ­­­– whose appliance brands include Whirlpool, JennAir, KitchenAid, Maytag and Indesit, among others ­– found that more than half (53%) of U.S. adults polled in a recent survey are spending, on average, an extra 7.4 hours at home each day, equating to over two extra days at home per week. And the shift in household dynamics could continue long-term as growing numbers of people continue to look toward their home as a sanctuary from a chaotic world outside.

“Perhaps it’s no surprise that nearly a third of those surveyed say they’ve found a new appreciation for their home in 2020, and 27% that say spending more time at home has produced unexpected positives,” Whirlpool Corp. said. “It’s not likely to change either. Although half of people (54%) hope that life returns to ‘normal’ heading into 2021, over a quarter (28%) say they want to keep up the positive new changes they’ve made at home long-term.”

Whirlpool Corp.’s research, conducted in November among nearly 1,400 U.S. households, revealed a shift in household responsibilities, with 14% of those surveyed cooking together more as a household since the pandemic began, inferring that nearly 36 million people in the U.S. are cooking together more, according to the publicly traded appliance producer.

For 12%, housework has also become more of a joint effort than ever, meaning that more than 15 million households in the U.S. are sharing more chores, with laundry (66%) and cooking (65%) the most popular shared chores among those sharing the effort.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of those surveyed say they feel closer to friends and family, largely due to people spending more time as a household (57 %).

More people have become hobbyists, with 41 million people in the U.S. reporting that they’ve taken up at least one new hobby or skill since the start of the pandemic. Cooking (29%), gardening (23%), drawing/painting (23%) and embarking on a new course of learning (21%) are the most popular hobbies assumed by those who have started a new one, Whirlpool Corp. researchers said. Some 17% also said they’ve “become more creative in the kitchen,” the company added.

 

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