After the year that was 2020, we all thought 2021 would be an improvement. However, thanks to the latest national lockdown in the UK and the aggressive transmission of COVID-19, 2021 isn’t looking too great so far. With so many of us working from home and essentially being stuck inside all the time, our kitchens are really taking the flack for this. With more homeschooling and working from home on the cards for the foreseeable future, it is our kitchen’s time to shine.
The versatility of kitchens
When COVID-19 decided to make a dramatic entrance into our day to day lives, no one could have anticipated the effect this would have on both our home and work life. With our home life and working environment suddenly being forced into the same house, we’ve all had to make some adjustments to how we operate on a daily basis.
Back in March 2020, with many of us suddenly unable to work from the office, we had to quickly adapt and utilise some of our home space to allow us work. For those of us who had the luxury of a home office, this was a simple task. However, for those of us with children and perhaps another family member also working from home, we’ve struggled to find a decent working area. Although it may have been tempting to work from bed, many of us know that this isn’t the correct working environment and can, in fact, have a damaging effect on your mental health and sleep routine.
Many of us have had to quickly adapt a living space into a home office, and this is where the kitchen has excelled. In a recent study by Magnet Kitchens, two thirds of British people have turned their kitchen into their home office space as ongoing lockdown rules have enforced that people must continue to work from home. Who’d have thought it, hey? What was once the cooking area and the gathering point for a house party has now become the working hub of the household.
In order to adapt to the new ways of working, Magnet discovered that over half of British people now spend more time in the kitchen than in any other room. Looks like people truly have packed away the pots and pans and turned their kitchen into a versatile office space. An office with food nearby – maybe a recipe for disaster or a fantastic idea? You decide!
All great ideas have to start somewhere
Behind every great idea is months, even years, of planning and visualising what the grand idea will look like, and what better place to do this than in your own kitchen? With Magnet’s research indicating that 3% of British people surveyed said that they have set up a brand new business from their kitchen – which equates to 1.1million of us nationally – it is clear to see that the kitchen is quickly becoming the ideas hub for many.
As to be expected, over half of us (51.87%) are now spending more time in the kitchen than in any other room of the house, with an additional 8 in 10 British people saying they now find themselves spending more time in the kitchen than ever before – this is what being at home all day does to people! 2021 will see this new relationship with our kitchen grow as the implications of further lockdown restrictions continue to make themselves present in our lives.
As many of us will know from our own experience, since lockdown began last year, the kitchen has taken on several other roles in addition to being a cooking space.
The hub of the home
Over the last year, lockdown has forced the UK into a cultural shift, with families having to utilise their home in ways that they’ve never done before. From having people out at work all day and children at school, we’ve seen families having to turn their home into a working office, classroom, gym studio, dancefloor, bakery, hair salon, and, of course, the home pub/bar.
People are extremely resilient and in times of hardship, we sure know how to adapt our living arrangements to suit us. In the first lockdown, the UK saw a surge in Google searches for terms like ‘banana bread recipe’ and ‘how to make cocktails’ and we are pretty confident that these searches will have taken place in the kitchen. I mean, where else can you hop on your laptop to find a recipe and get baking at the same time!
Traditionally, people liked to keep the rooms in their house very separate from each other and this specifically applies to areas like the bedroom. A simple Google search tells us that the bedroom should be kept as a room dedicated to sleep as it is easy for your brain to start to associate the bedroom with working if you spend too much time on your laptop in bed. With this in mind, British people have embraced the change and spent most of their time in the hub of the home.
Magnet’s study of British people revealed that 1 in 5 people (19%) experienced what they described as a ‘big life
moment’ in their kitchen last year, with 3% of those involved in the survey revealing that they told their partner that they were pregnant whilst in the kitchen. Another common response for kitchen activity was that almost one in ten people received a new job offer in this space, closely followed by completing a dissertation or other large piece of work (5%).
This research confirmed, with 60% of people agreeing, that the kitchen is now viewed as the central hub of the home, and it is with this in mind that Magnet have now coined a term for these new multifunctional
spaces: “The Super Living Kitchen”.
The Super Living Kitchen
Everyone loves a multitasker but it doesn’t get any better than a multitasking living space. With new lockdown restrictions heavily in place in the UK and the end gradually seeming further and further away, who knows what other uses people will discover for their kitchen.
Perhaps by Summer 2021, we will have a whole new range of activities that we can do in our kitchen!