The Power of Privacy


Opening up more breathing space in life at home

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IKEA Life at Home Report 2019
Understanding the privacy gap

85% of us believe we have a right to privacy at home, yet 1 in 4 are concerned that our privacy needs are not being met.

In the IKEA Life At Home Report 2019 we set out to understand what’s causing this gap between what we need and what we get, and how we can close it. In today’s world, privacy is a necessity that can sometimes feel impossible to get. Our research shows us that privacy is much more than an emotional need; to many people, privacy at home feels like a right. People can’t imagine a world without it, and naturally seek it out.

We discovered that getting privacy is often about context – where we live, who we live with, and our roles in the home. These are the factors which create the privacy access gap. Throughout our research, we found that we can all close this gap and open up more breathing space by reframing how we view privacy, sparking an honest and open conversation about our need for it, and making privacy integral to our overall wellbeing.

Over 50% of people feel frustrated when they don’t get privacy and a third feel anxious.

Meet Mecca to learn more about finding privacy outdoors.

Meet Dave to learn more about sharing the load.

Meet Sarah to learn more about finding private time.

20% of people globally agree that ‘I’m afraid people will take it personally’ when asking for privacy.

Opening up more breathing space

Privacy: a complicated ask

Beyond the functional barriers to privacy there is a bigger issue which is related to people, not place. Asking others for privacy can feel awkward, antisocial, and sometimes just downright rude.

One in ten people don’t feel they have the right to ask for privacy at home. If we can’t ask verbally, we rely on signals to communicate our need for privacy. We use objects like headphones or screens, activities like reading, or even just our body language.

But what’s clear is that the more privacy we get, the better our relationships will be. Three in five people globally believe privacy is important for relationships.

Privacy as an enabler

We need to rethink privacy as something that unlocks positive benefits. We need privacy – either on our own or in moments of intimacy with others – to recharge, to get to know ourselves, and grow as people. More than 75% of us globally seek privacy to enjoy freedom from judgement, and 70% say privacy is important to enable personal growth.

Unlocking the power of privacy

It’s clear that privacy helps us to thrive at home and in life. We can all unlock the life-enhancing benefits of privacy by recognising our right to it, reframing how we think about it, feeling empowered to ask for it, and creating the right time and space for it.

76% globally agree that ‘privacy is an important part of my wellbeing'.