The future has never been less certain. COVID-19 has caused overwhelming changes to the way we live and work – reshaping communities, accelerating digitisation and disrupting the physical and mental wellbeing of many. What’s more, this disruption is unequally distributed - risking a ‘tale of two halves’ as some navigate only minor frustrations while others struggle to rebuild their lives. In collaboration with Nationwide, Ipsos MORI and Perspective Economics explore the changes that could occur to our homes, working lives, communities and financial wellbeing.
Lockdown and home working have increased the desire for personal space, private outdoor areas and flexibility in what a home allows for. People’s concept of what a home must be has changed, but so too is many people’s ability to achieve housing ambitions. The new ways in which we balance life and work could create more freedom and fulfillment, or they could allow work to infiltrate most aspects of our home life creating stress and difficulty switching-off. Now, more than ever, we need to take a long-term view of the forces shaping property demand to ensure people can live and work in a healthy and sustainable manner.
The UK officially entered recession in 2020. This isn’t just an economic issue; it could have profound social, health and generational impacts, compounding pre-existing vulnerabilities and exacerbating inequality. As pressures on individuals and businesses grow, so do concerns around a new ‘lost generation’ caused by COVID-19. There is a need to support the most vulnerable people – and the most vulnerable environments. As shopping switches online, Britain’s high-streets risk deterioration which in turn raises questions around the future of local communities.
History’s perspective on the pandemic, and Britain’s response to it, is not yet set in stone. We are still in the eye of the storm and whether the changes we experience today will persist is an outstanding question. Governments, organisations, businesses and individuals themselves still have a role to play in shaping the future trajectory of COVID-19 and influencing the transformation that is occurring in almost all spheres of life. These uncertain futures will be explored further in primary research and four ‘deep dive’ reports into the future of Homes, Work, Communities and Financial Wellbeing will be published this year.
- The future of home survey
- Young people and working from home (WFH) in the pandemic
- Working through COVID-19: What behaviours will bounce back and what will stick?
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