Three in four Singaporeans say they are significantly affected by constraints on space

Issue: Apr 2021

Three in four Singaporeans say they are significantly affected by constraints on space

Poll results revealed startling insights into Singaporeans' mental wellbeing, with a majority affected by a lack of living space during the pandemic

Singapore, 18 March 2021 – A survey of Singaporeans' state of mind during the pandemic found that a majority were affected by limited living space in their homes. The survey also found that space was one of the top key concerns for respondents after family, health and job security.

This survey, commissioned by StorHub Self Storage, the largest self storage operator in Singapore since 2003, revealed how the pandemic affected Singaporeans' wellbeing, the generational differences in perception of space and the competition for space within the household.

"Space is a limited commodity in Singapore. This poll helped us understand and examine deeply how the pandemic may have exacerbated and impacted Singaporeans' state of mind and mental wellbeing," said Luigi La Tona, Chief Executive Officer, StorHub Self Storage (Singapore).

The poll examined different aspects including the impact on residents of a lack of space, the interpretation of space by different generations and the optimisation of space for different needs.

Out of ten key concerns, the poll respondents ranked the need for space as the fourth most important (48%) after family (63%), health (59%) and job security (51%). Many respondents also highlighted the competition between family members for space as a significant consequence of pandemic-induced circuit breaker measures. One respondent said, "I did not realise how much competition there was for the use of equipment, facilities and space at home until I had to spend all day at home with my family."

When the country went into Phase One of the Circuit Breaker last year, Singaporeans turned to the growing number of e-commerce providers to satisfy their shopping needs as they found themselves cooped up at home. As online shopping became more common, Singaporean homes began to fill up with miscellaneous items. This added to the existing clutter that according to the survey is one of the causes of the pressure many Singaporeans feel on their mental wellbeing. The problem was compounded as the survey showed 63 percent of Singaporeans kept items which they had not used for more than 24 months. Fortunately, some 75 percent of Singaporeans believe that they had to do their part in decluttering their homes.

A noticeable generational difference in perspectives on space was also observed.

More than 65 percent of older Singaporeans (aged 36 to 60 years) said that they found the lack of space at home restrictive and impacted their state of mind, as compared to 53 percent of younger Singaporeans (aged 18 to 35 years) who disagreed that space at home was inadequate. More than 62 percent agreed that bigger homes and more space would help Singaporeans deal with their stressful lives.

Poor Space Allocation

However, over 53 percent (1 in 2) of Singaporeans cited poor space allocation at home as a key contributor to discomfort, stress and dissatisfaction among family members, while 63 percent of Singaporeans agreed that the space configuration for home was not effective. 28 percent of respondents believed that clutter and unnecessary furniture reduced the space for daily activities described as 'liveable space'. 28 percent of respondents cited clutter (16%) and unwanted furniture (12%) as factors that reduced liveable space in their homes.

"The findings have demonstrated that poor management of space leads to compromised mental wellbeing for many Singaporeans. It reiterates the point that it is not healthy to be confined in small spaces for long periods of time. As Singapore recreates workspaces at home and takes on remote work as part of the new normal, we must become more aware and think strategically about how best to optimise the utilisation of space in our homes," explained La Tona.

"Clutter is a key factor in the constraint on liveable space at home and yet it is one of the more efficient or easiest ways to unlock space in our homes. As Singaporeans move into a new normal of working and living, it's becoming imperative that they de-clutter and reconfigure their homes for optimal living conditions for better mental wellbeing."

Fortunately, there is a solution. Singaporeans can reclaim ownership of their mental health by remembering the 3Ds: decluttering, donating, and disposing.

About the Poll

Commissioned by StorHub, the poll was divided into five different parts - each relating to an aspect that sought to study the participants’ attitude and relationship to space/their living environment and compare that to their attitude and opinion in the pre-pandemic period. The poll, conducted by Priority Consultants, recorded responses from 392 participants with ages ranging from 18 to 75.

This poll has also been featured by various local media companies and can be found on their official websites as follows:

  1. Singapore Business Review
  2. MSN
  3. Hardware Zone SG
  4. Property Guru
  5. Property News SG
  6. Piece Business
  7. SQ Feed
  8. 52 Tourism
  9. AsiaOne
  10. Markets Insider
  11. Yahoo Finance
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