In a recent study, researchers at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Managment narrow down how likely and desirable certain future scenarios are for our lives in our own homes. The experts surveyed as part of the Delphi study which was commissioned by Einhell paint a picture in which many people live in suburban and "smart" households, define themselves even more strongly by their own four walls, and see their homes as a status symbol. Only when it comes to DIY activities do men and women appear to maintain different visions.
For the German manufacturer of technologically advanced tools and garden equipment Einhell, these are questions of great strategic importance: how will people design their homes in the future, what significance will their own four walls have, and how will they live in them? After all, the company's development department is designing appliances today that will meet people's future needs. In order to have more certainty as to whether there will be appropriate demand for such new developments and to identify further trends at an early stage, the company commissioned researchers from WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management to conduct a Delphi study on the significance of the home in 2030.
"Future studies are not primarily about making a prediction which will then occur with one hundred percent probability. Instead, the crucial thing is to look at the future itself and to focus on various scenarios and their potential effects," says study director Professor Dr. Sascha L. Schmidt, explaining the aim of the research. "The results of a future-based study make it possible to better adapt to different possible scenarios." The researchers therefore deliberately opted for the format of a Delphi study in which, in this case, 60 carefully selected experts discussed pre-formulated future projections and their probability of occurrence in a defined process, thus giving the scientists the opportunity to identify the most likely scenario.
According to this most likely scenario, the future home will be a place of constant change. The previous trend toward urbanization is reversing into a trend toward urban flight. More people will move from the city to the countryside in search of self-realization. In addition, residents will invest significantly more in the modernization of their own four walls and will predominantly live in smart homes. In terms of the power tools they use, they will switch from corded and gasoline-powered tools to battery-powered devices. "From the point of view of our study participants, this scenario is not only the most likely, but also the most desirable," says Professor Schmidt, "not least because they assume that it would also be accompanied by a significant improvement in quality of life."
The second scenario, in which the home becomes a place of equal and collective self-fullfilment, proves to be somewhat less likely. Here, do-it-yourself activities would be among the most popular leisure activities, and men and women would share housework equally. Striking here was that the women among the respondents thought this scenario was likely - unlike their male colleagues. In this scenario, the home will also become a primary status symbol - people will continue to enjoy showing what they have made of their home with their own two hands through social media, etc.
According to the study results, the least likely scenario is that the home becomes a place of systematic retreat, where one spends most of one's available time. After all, according to the experts surveyed, people are social creatures and will remain such.
Schmidt, S. / Beiderbeck, D.: Delphi-Studie: Das Zuhause 2030, CSM Research Report (2021)
You can download the full study here.