• 06.04.14

17% Of New Yorkers Have Worked On The Toilet

Ikea’s “Life at Home” report sheds light on the office of the future: the bathroom!

17% Of New Yorkers Have Worked On The Toilet
[Image: Toilet texting via Shutterstock]

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.

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.