Data Dive is our new bi-weekly roundup of the studies, stats, reports and surveys impacting the future of how we create and use space.

Space becomes the new luxury add-on

survey of almost 6,500 US travellers by Gallup and the financial firm Franklin Templeton reveals the expected: most (52 per cent) still feel uneasy about boarding a plane. There’s a discrepancy by age, of course, with only a third of 18-34 year olds against air travel compared to two-thirds of those 55-plus. Notably, the survey gives some insight into the premium consumers might pay to guarantee distancing, with 53 per cent of respondents keen on options that ensure they’re sat next to an empty seat. The majority of those interested would be willing to pay up to $100 USD to access the benefit, but an extremely cautious (or wealthy) 18 per cent said they would accept costs of over $250. While the ethics of monetizing consumers’ health anxieties are dubious at best, don’t be surprised to find brands offering add-ons that increase your spatial quota, even if they won’t be directly marketed as such. As we’ve catalogued, designers are working hard to reengineer a sense of safety within transport interiors, but retrofits – let alone new cabin models – take time to implement. Until then, the market will provide.

Don’t be surprised to find airlines offering add-ons that increase your spatial quota 

Millennials dig gardening

They may have done more than any generation before them to glamourize the houseplant, but it seems the pandemic is forcing millennials to think a little bigger. A survey by found that 62 per cent of those within the age range felt that garden space had been vital to their mental health during lockdown, while just under half (48 per cent) reported that the garden was now their favourite part of the home. The generation’s interest seems more recreational than ecological, with an outdoor cooking area the most desired addition to a ‘dream garden', followed by outdoor lighting, patio furniture and a swimming pool or hot tub. They’re willing to spend to realize that dream too, with a study by insurer LV finding that millennials invested twice as much on outdoor areas as the average consumer during the crisis. Having somewhere to put that barbecue in the first place is perhaps the primary goal, however; as we’ve recently covered, access to private and semi-private outdoor space is set to be a defining factor in the design of much urban housing moving forward.

Millennials invested twice as much on outdoor areas as the average consumer during the crisis

The home office intensifies

Common sense once dictated that a shift towards at-home working would create a better work-life balance. A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests the opposite might be true, at least under current circumstances. The research shows that the average working day during lockdown has stretched by about 48 minutes compared to pre-pandemic norms. In addition, there’s been a 13 per cent increase in the average number of meetings and, perhaps more predictably, a rise in the number of emails sent, though only marginally (an extra 1.4 per day).  The data set is comprehensive, surveying 3.1 million people at 21,000 companies across 16 cities in the Middle East, Europe and North America. In short, this is a truly global shift in working patterns – you can read the full results here. The result, as our recent #FrameLive panel outlined, is that the design of our homes is going to have to work harder than ever to mitigate a whole new range of environmental and social pressures

The average working day during lockdown has stretched by about 48 minutes compared to pre-pandemic norms