Balance Starts at Home

A balanced approach to mental wellbeing helps us get the most out of life, and we believe that starts at home. A home space for our headspace.

Our findings

After a challenging 12 months, in which 27% of people say their mental health has suffered, our homes and our mental wellbeing have become more intimately connected than ever.

In fact, people now find it hard to talk about one without the other. Through our research, we learned that a home you love can help protect your mental wellbeing. But there’s a flipside. When people are unhappy at home, they are more likely to experience negative mental health impacts.

40%who felt more positive towards their home also saw a positive impact on their mental health

42%of people say their relationships with immediate family have improved over the last 12 months

93%think it is important that their home provides them with a sense of comfort

55%say relaxing is the most important activity for helping them achieve a sense of wellbeing at home

73%say they have spent more time in their neighbourhoods in the last 12 months

38%of people feel that the future will be better than today

Watch the film

Over the past 12 months, people’s experiences and needs have changed in different ways around the world.

France

28%of people in France say they wish they could spend more time socialising and entertaining at home.

USA

47%of people in the USA who live with parents or siblings say their relationships with immediate family have improved in the last 12 months.

Czech Republic

88%of people in the Czech Republic spent more time in their neighbourhoods over the past 12 months – the highest percentage of any country.

Japan

88%of people in Japan say it’s important that their home makes them feel content and at ease.

Australia

38%of people in Australia say having a home that is easy to keep clutter-free has become more important to them over the last 12 months, making the country one of the world’s decluttering hotspots.

UK

53%of people in the UK say access to a private garden or balcony has grown in importance over the last year when thinking about their ideal home – making the UK one of the countries where this has grown the most in importance.

Finland

72%of people in Finland say sleeping is most important in achieving mental wellbeing, putting the country near the very top of the sleep-loving charts.

South Korea

48%of people in South Korea are feeling more positive about their homes compared to before the pandemic. This is much higher than the global average of 35%.

Where are you looking for more balance?

Click on the shapes to explore the key themes of our research.

Relationships

Is home helping or hindering your relationships?

The pandemic has brought many of us closer together — especially families and the people we live with. It has also made us choosier about the friendships we keep. For our mental wellbeing, it’s quality not quantity that matters.

Summary

Families have grown closer over the last 12 months, with 42% of people saying their relationships with immediate family have improved.

While some friendships have also flourished, others have not fared so well. One in five people we surveyed around the world say their friendships have been negatively impacted.

Relationships are vital to our mental wellbeing, especially relationships at home. When discussing our mental health and wellbeing, many of us turn to people we live with. On average, half say they speak to their partner, 22% to a parent and 21% to a sibling.

42%

of the people we spoke to said their relationships with direct family have grown stronger over the last 12 months

31%

say proximity to friends and family is one of the things that increased most in importance over the last 12 months

41%

say they turn to their friends to talk about their mental health

1 in 5

people have seen their friendships suffer over the last 12 months

Young couple look at baby’s shoes together

Explore our findings

How did you feel about your home in 2021?

40%

of people who felt positively about their home in 2021 also saw their mental wellbeing improve.

A happy home can help mental wellbeing.

Watch: The Sides of Home – Feeling of Home

Key takeaways for relationships

  • 01 Achieve balance by prioritising the relationships you have cultivated over the past 12 months
  • 02 To rebuild relationships with people who matter to you, make sure you are clear about your needs – and they are clear about theirs
  • 03 Create an environment in which you can nurture and be nurtured
Community

How much do your communities do for you?

Whether it’s local neighbourhoods or WhatsApp groups, communities are important to us. They support our practical, social and emotional needs – and we have been turning to them more and more over the last 12 months.

Two young men playing football outside a housing estate

Summary

Seventy-three percent of people around the world say they have spent more time in their neighbourhoods in the last 12 months.

Connecting with neighbours is important. It has practical benefits, especially when times are challenging, and supports our emotional needs. Sixty-two percent say their mental wellbeing has benefitted from having a sense of belonging in their neighbourhoods.

Community is not just about the houses and streets around us, though. It’s also about the communities we create for ourselves with likeminded people, whether online or in person.

62%

Sixty-two percent of people say their mental wellbeing has benefitted from a sense of belonging in their neighbourhood

73%

have spent more time in their neighbourhoods in the last 12 months

13%

globally say that, when thinking about their ideal home, connecting to people in their neighbourhood is more important now than it was 12 months ago

18%

of those aged 18-34 think gaming is one of the most important things for maintaining a sense of mental wellbeing at home

Explore our findings

Did you feel
part of your community
this year?

73%

of people have spent more time in their local neighbourhoods this past year.

Watch: The Sides of Home – Community

Key takeaways for community

  • 01 Strong community connections can have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing
  • 02 We feel like we belong when our communities reflect who we are
  • 03 Community is not just the people we see and walk past every day – it’s also the outdoor and virtual spaces we access from home
Watch: Park Juice, by Bompas & Parr, from our Virtual Greenhouse
Space

Is your home space supporting your headspace?

How we use our spaces has altered over the past year. To achieve balance, many of us have adapted our spaces to match. Sixty percent say they’ve had to change the way their home is organised to do the activities they want or need to do at home.

Summary

Ninety-three percent of people globally say that it is important that their home provides them with a sense of comfort. But how do we find space for the comfort we need, when we’re having to use our homes as offices, schools and gyms?

This year, we have seen a major shift in the way everyone is using and thinking about their homes. In the past, there were some things people only did beyond their four walls. Now, life is more fluid – and our spaces are changing to reflect this.

Control is important. To ensure they can do everything they want and need to do at home, many people are choosing to organise their homes in new ways.

36%

of people say that having a private garden or balcony is one of the things that has increased most in importance over the past 12 months

47%

of those who made significant efforts to reorganise their homes now feel more positive about them

28%

of people say that spaciousness is one of the things that has grown most in importance over the last 12 months

27%

say that their ideal home being ‘easy to clean’ and ‘kept clutter-free’ is more important to them than it was 12 months ago

Woman uses sewing machine in artistic room

Explore our findings

Did your space work for you this year?

60%

of people agree that they have had to significantly change the way their home is organised to do the activities they wanted to.

The country making the most changes to their homes is India, with 80% of people admitting to significantly changing the way their home is organised.

Watch: The Sides of Home – Space

Key takeaways for space

  • 01 Taking control of your space can make it a place of greater comfort and safety
  • 02 Decluttering your home benefits your mental wellbeing
  • 03 We need access to nature, whether it’s by living close to green space or by bringing the outside in
Watch: Create A Living Sculptural Object, by We Smell The Rain, from our Virtual Greenhouse
Rituals

How are you living your life at home?

Positive daily rituals are important. Being intentional about how we work, eat, socialise and relax can help us get the most out of our time at home.

Young couple dance in living room

“I feel happiest when I’m relaxed at home”

Summary

Throughout 2020 and 2021, the role of the home has been transformed. Now it is a place for activity and productivity as well as relaxation. Finding balance through good daily routines is key for our mental wellbeing.

This means being intentional about how we use our homes – and not just when we’re working or exercising. Sometimes it’s about choosing activities that help us relax, feel centred or achieve balance. Doing less but doing it better.

53%

of people in China say their home meets their needs for sleeping and 52% say it meets their needs for relaxing

24%

of women want to devote more time to self-care compared to 9% of men

41%

of people say their home is meeting their needs for working and studying

26%

globally say that doing hobbies or personal projects is important for helping them maintain a sense of mental wellbeing at home

Explore our findings

When do you feel most in control?

55%

of people chose sleeping as being most important for maintaining a sense of wellbeing at home.

For others, keeping busy gave them a better sense of control.

Watch: The Sides of Home – Rituals

Key takeaways for rituals

  • 01 Creating boundaries around activities can help you make the most of your time at home
  • 02 Carving out space for self-care and self-expression is important for mental wellbeing
  • 03 Do less but do it better – develop rituals around relaxation
Watch: Home Flower Therapy, by Buunch, from our Virtual Greehouse
Future Home

How close are you to your dream life at home?

People are clearer than ever about what they want and need from where they live. Having a home that makes us happy will be critical in the future.

Summary

Life used to be predictable. Now we all have to be adaptable. There is no ‘new normal’ and the future is in a constantly evolving state.

This has led many people to reassess their relationship with home. Eighty-four percent now say it is important to have control over the place where they live. We know our needs are likely to change in the future and we want to be able to adapt our space accordingly.

At the same time, home will remain the one constant in our lives. A place to be calm and centred, whatever happens outside. This is reflected in what has grown in importance for people over the last 12 months when they think about their ideal home. Space for downtime. Space for nature. Space for doing the things they love.

28%

said having a spacious home increased the most in importance in the past 12 months

38%

globally say they feel the future will be better than today

32%

want to spend more time doing hobbies and personal projects

Sad woman in glasses gazes out of window

Explore our findings

Where will you find meaning in the future?

84%

say it is important to have control over the space and place where they live

Across the global sample, people agree that they must be ready to adapt to an evolving future.

Watch: The Sides of Home – Future Home

Key takeaways for Future Home

  • 01 We want our homes to be clean, healthy places with wellbeing built into the design
  • 02 Hybrid spaces serve our hybrid lifestyles better
  • 03 Many people believe that tomorrow will be better than today
Happy family sharing food around a table
What we learned

A home you love is more important than ever

The last 12 months have been challenging for many of us. More than 27% of the 34,000+ people we surveyed tell us that their mental health has suffered. At the same time, 40% who felt more positive towards their home also saw a positive impact on their mental health. So we know our homes can help protect our mental wellbeing. The key is achieving balance – in our relationships, our spaces, our communities and our rituals.

This site is optimised for portrait browsing.
Please rotate your device :)