The home of the future: A place for life, care, and work

The living space in our homes grow smaller, while it is expected to fulfill a greater set of functions in our lives. Retail is moving online and the home should work for e-commerce distribution. More sophisticated care activities move to the home, which is also meant to function as a work space for nursing staff. Digital products for service, security, medical follow-ups, and quality of life pose both opportunites and challenges. The home must be able to connect to the right bandwith for the safe functioning of critical digital solition, and often require committed digital users.

Digitalisation contributes with solutions for everything beween e-commerce and e-health, and the home is becoming an increasingly important hub in our lives. An important question is how new support functions should be designed to bridge the digital gap between experienced and unexperienced digital users among today’s and tomorrow’s seniors. A fundamental question is how you get the digital part of the day to work.

Seniors understand that DIY health will grow

We recently conducted a survey of senior people, mainly those born in the 1940s, on their outlook on new everyday-, care-, and security services. There is a reasonably good understanding in this group of where the development is heading – that more is going to happen at home and that they will see a growth in digital solutions. Services for security and control of their own level of health is something a majority is prioritizing. It is also not uncommon to consider paying a monthly fee for parts of the services.

Laborious work remain until time- and cost effective solutions

In preparation of the second in-depth study, starting in the spring 2019 we have carried out a set of small surveys with sectors that work closely with these qestions to get a stronger foundation for our research, for example housing associations, architects, and distributors. One of the questions was regarding whether the old and new housing stock is enough to handle everything from e-commerce to e-health. The results are clear: It is agreed that the old stock is not nearly enough, while the new is sufficient but does not completely fill all the needs.

Another question in the set of small surveys was about what adaptations that will be most important for “the last metre” when a growing number of actors have to interact with the building in an agile, safe, and time effective manner. The highest priority was the need for areas/spaces in the property for deliveries and returns. Something that is missing today to a large extent.

We create depth together with experts

Big challenges are waiting as the growing senior population are trying to solve their living situation in old age and get their home to work as the hub outlined above. We have been working with these types of questions for a number of years, and are now gearing up for a new in-depth research project; The home as a place for living, caring, and working.

In this study we are working together with experts in architecture, home care services, food provisions, and effective distributions to inspire regions, local councils, housing associations, e-commerce, and other actors to take on new methods and concrete development.

If you would like to know more about this project, contact Mats Olsson