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Covid-19 will lead to “decade of the home”, survey predicts

Companies will need to adapt as financial insecurity and anxiety around the pandemic lead more people to work and socialise from home.

By Rohan Banerjee

The coronavirus pandemic has led to more people spending more time at home or indoors, not just during work hours but in their leisure time too, a study has found.

A worldwide survey run by business consultancy Accenture has predicted a “decade of the home” is about to begin, which will prompt retailers and various services to adapt their products to cater for more localised experiences.

The survey, which comprised answers from 8,800 people living in 20 different countries, confirmed an enduring anxiety towards public spaces and travel due to the risk of Covid-19. The majority – 69 per cent – of respondents said they expected to do most of their socialising over the next six months from their home, at a friend’s home, or virtually.

Over half – 53 per cent – of the survey’s respondents said they intended to work from home more often on a long-term basis, even after lockdown measures against the pandemic eased. Meanwhile, 79 per cent of respondents said that the pandemic had led to them shopping in their local neighbourhoods at smaller stores, rather than venturing to town centres or out-of-town supermarkets, and that they intended to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Accenture has predicted a spike in online shopping in response to the pandemic, and expects businesses to respond with a wider range of delivery options for their products in the future.

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“Home is now the new frontier,” said Oliver Wright, the company’s managing director, in a statement. “It’s become the workplace, the schoolroom and the place to try new hobbies. It’s the place to socialise and have a safe sanctuary, so companies must account for this reality.”

He added: “They’ll need to think beyond traditional tactics and be more creative, providing premium or virtual experiences and tailoring their portfolios to engage consumers. We’re already seeing this in the beverage and spirits industry, for example, with Carlsberg launching its ‘adopt a keg’ campaign, and one London brewery offering a ‘pub in a box’ to local customers, hand-delivered by musicians who’ve had their tours cancelled.”