CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — The state of the economy coupled with increased living expenses is likely to have a significant impact on life at home, with a substantial number of surveyed consumers saying they expect to cancel or postpone home improvement plans until the current financial picture improves.
That is among the key findings of the annual “Life at Home Report” released this week by home-products retailer IKEA. The report, aimed at providing a snapshot of how people are living and feeling, is the most expansive report of its kind in the world, IKEA said.
Given increased living expenses, the report points to 1 in 10 people anticipating the cost-of-living crisis affecting major life moments such as getting married and having children. Over a third (35%) say they expect to cancel or postpone home improvement plans. More than 20% say they are worried about job security.
Surveying more than 37,000 people globally in 37 countries, the IKEA report reveals that 61% of the people polled say they are worried about their household finances, while 66% are concerned about the general economy in their country as inflation continues to soar.
The outlook for peoples’ day to day quality of life is “equally concerning,” with some 43% of those surveyed expecting their hobbies and interests outside the home to be negatively impacted as wallets become thinner – an indication of a potential “financial lockdown,” IKEA said.
“After years of enforced lockdowns for our health, people will likely feel the need to stay at home once again to save on costs, meaning our spaces need to work harder than ever,” said Katie McCrory, who leads the Life at Home Report at IKEA. “Yet worryingly, only half of us (56%) say we experience enjoyment where we live, and 4 in 5 people say they regularly feel frustrated by everyday gripes such as household chores and too much clutter,” McCrory added.
The report found that 8% of those surveyed have worked in the bathroom, while 22% have eaten a meal in bed during the last 12 months, “as our homes continue to be multifunctional spaces where we work, rest and play,” McCrory observed.
The report also reveals that if a home reflects a homeowner’s personality, people are almost twice as likely to see it as a source of mental wellbeing. Overall, some 40% survey respondents say they feel more positive about their home compared to the same time a year earlier, McCrory noted.