A new survey by Whirlpool Corp. found that American adults are changing how they use their homes and more than a quarter of respondents intend to maintain these changes in a post-pandemic world.
The survey of 1,380 adults, conducted in conjunction with market research company YouGov between November 10 and 12, aimed at identifying the shift of life at home during the pandemic. Results can help residential professionals pinpoint the areas of the home their clients plan to utilize more.
"At Whirlpool Corporation, we are in constant pursuit of improving life in the home," says Eleanor Reece, senior director of global campaigns for the company. "That's why we commissioned this new study to understand how lives have changed in the last year. Amidst the hardships, challenges and uncertainty that have come in 2020, it's been heartening to see some silver linings as new dynamics and habits emerge in homes everywhere.”
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With more Americans working from home, it may come as no surprise that 53% of respondents say they are spending about two more days at home than before the pandemic. This comes out to an extra 7.4 hours spent indoors on a daily basis.
All this time at home has pushed adults to try new hobbies, spend more time as a household, and take on more household responsibilities.
In the kitchen, 14% of respondents said they are cooking together as a household since the beginning of the pandemic.
The study has been weighted to be representative of all American adults. As a result, that 14% increase in cooking as a household equates to roughly 36 million adults using their kitchens more.
Other household chores, such as laundry, are seeing a surge in joint efforts. Not only are Americans doing more laundry and cooking at home, they are doing them together, which could point toward future demands for larger kitchens and/or laundry rooms.
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Cooking has become an even more popular activity for adults in general, not just households. According to the study, 16% of respondents, which is representative of 14 million adults, say they have developed a new hobby or skill during their time at home.
From that share of respondents, 29% of respondents say cooking has become a new hobby, which furthers the importance of the kitchen to Americans.
Outdoor living has also surged in popularity as more Americans stay home, and 23% of respondents who developed a new skill say gardening is now their hobby of choice.
And while these new developments may come out of a necessity to use extra time, a return to normalcy will not put an end to these lifestyle changes for 28% of respondents.
"When the world feels chaotic, we often look for shelter and comfort in our homes as somewhere we can control. That's never been more true than over the last few months," Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, told Whirlpool. "As this study shows, the effort we've made to make our homes a sanctuary from the outside world has led to us making changes to our home lives and household dynamics. From transforming what our homes look like, to reviewing how we share the housework, to thinking about how we can continue to grow as individuals—even if it's within our four walls.”