Who is in Charge? 

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For those who like being in charge, the results of a survey indicate some pointers.

At one time there was an apparent split between the North and South of England with the Midlands providing a sort of buffer area to help ease the transition between the concept of "muck and brass".  Now, with technologic advances plus the desire to have access to data about every man and his dog, information can be broken down into specific topics and locations.  An example of this trend is seen in the results of data showing the regions of the UK which are the most and least tech savvy.

Knowing that this survey was conducted by Hive, it should come as no surprise to hear that it covered the topics of smart homes and the control of every aspect of modern day living.  This survey was conducted over a five day period in October 2019 and involved 2,000 adults with the results showing a change of attitude towards controls freaks as 74% of those questioned felt it was a positive personal trait to be in total control of the situation.

Breaking this figure down revealed that being a control freak in the home meant we would be happier (30%), more relaxed (39%), less worried (33%) and could even save us money (43%).  But that still leaves around 40% of interviewees admitting to a feeling of a lack of control, causing them to suffer from stress (28%) and worry (11%).

In order to combat these feelings and regain control, different tactics were tried.  Cleaning rotas were implemented and the latest technology to control the home were used with voice assistants and smart thermostats leading the way.  The Hive survey revealed that there were several elements that those interviewed felt they should have more control over within the home environment.  Topping this list was finance with 41%.  This was followed by the weekly food shop at 41%, temperature in the home at 35% and recycling at 32%.  Other areas also mentioned consisted of cleaning, laundry, home décor, cooking, television remote control and holiday planning.

Of course control does bring with it certain responsibility and the possibility of arguments as to who should actual have the control.  In the war of the sexes, men and women have been known to have different views over who should have the control and what areas it would cover.  When the television remote is under discussion, men believe that they should be in control rather than a woman with a score of 63% v 35%.  I am guessing the missing 2% was taken up by the children.  I would have thought their figure would have been much higher. 

Men also believe they should be in the prime position for D.I.Y. (61% v 26%) and home security (68% v 32%).  Women felt they were in charge with regards to hosting activities (49% v 24%), home décor (54% V 26%) and being in charge of the thermostat (46% v 34%).  Of course tactics, so they tell me, play a major part in the conflict over who has control.

The survey revealed that some underhand tactics were used.  For instance 35% of those questioned admitted emptying and then reloading the dishwasher when their partner had done the job but not as they would like it.  An even larger number, almost half at 49%, confessed to changing the thermostat behind the back of their partner.

As I mentioned earlier, the use of technology means data can be more localised.  In the case of the survey. Hive is able to reveal and, no doubt, concentrate their sale's pitch on specific locations and regions.  A top ten list of regions that enjoyed using smart tools to control their homes is headed by London at 53%.  Trailing behind the capital are Leeds (48.8%), Norwich (48.5%), Belfast (47.4%). Edinburgh (47%), Glasgow (46%), Cardiff (42.9), Swansea (42.8%), Liverpool (42.2%), and Bristol (41.1%).  The least tech savvy regions are Wolverhampton at 11% and Oxford at 15%.

So what advice can be offered to those looking to restore some sort of order to their home life, especially those living in Wolverhampton and Oxford.  The behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings, has come up with a number of tips to help create a better living environment.  You have to step back to work out your priorities and see what needs to be tackled first after it has been broken down into realistic goals.  A warm environment makes it easier to relax and unwind, so get a smart thermostat.  Adjust the lighting in the home to create a cosy atmosphere.  A tidy home leads to a tidy mind, so declutter and do not hesitate to delegate tasks to those you share the residence.

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