Ikea's newly released "Life at Home" report surveys more than 8,000 people in cities around the world, and it has some pretty obvious observations about the way the urbanites live. A lot of people like to cuddle, and report that they would like to do it more than they already do. A lot of people report feeling stressed when they wake up in the morning--about oversleeping, being able to find things around their house, and life in general. And a lot of people--far more than you'd care to consider--spend time working on the pot.
In the digital age, it's easy to work anywhere, anytime (and all the time), including in your house or apartment--all over your apartment. Even in what might have previously been considered the last sanctuary of not responding to your boss's emails: the bathroom. That is especially true in work-obsessed New York. In the words of the Swedish furniture giant: "quite a few New Yorkers have no issue conducting their business where other business is traditionally done."
A full 17% of New Yorkers admitted to having worked or studied on the toilet. So did 17% of people in Stockholm. In cities like Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris, and Shanghai, the bathroom workforce was closer to 10% of respondents. We already know New Yorkers are a bunch of raging workaholics, but the report points out that as the boundaries between work and home blur, and as urban living gets more expensive--encouraging people to cluster into tinier apartments--our living spaces are becoming more, erm, multi-functional.
"Traditional room functions are long gone, and we seem to do whatever, wherever and whenever," the report states, "something which our new digital savviness allows." Getting a little work done in bed, at the kitchen table or on the sofa isn't an entirely new phenomenon, but it may be becoming a more mainstream, everyday occurrence in the digital age. Notably, the survey does not report how many people work on one of Ikea's more traditionally work-oriented products, like the hundred or so desks the company makes. Reading into the strategy here, it sounds like Ikea should be gearing up to sell a lot more multitasking furniture--could a toilet-desk combo be in the works?
Read the full report here.
[Image: Toilet texting via Shutterstock]