Britain nation of control freaks, claims Hive survey

Control FreaksNine in 10 Brits are self-confessed ‘control freaks’ at home. Research of 2,000 adults found they feel uneasy if they’re not in charge of key aspects of their home – including the TV remote, home décor and the thermostat.

Three in 10 admit being in control actually make makes them feel happier, 39 per cent find it relaxing and a third feel less inclined to worry. And around half believe running a tight ship where they live even saves them money.

Commissioned by smart home specialists Hive, the study found 78 per cent believe being a control freak is actually a positive trait – given today’s hectic lifestyles.

Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who worked with Hive on the research, said: “Feeling in control of your home is a very healthy attribute that can leave you feeling happier and more motivated.

“In today’s unpredictable lifestyle, it is fitting that we are seeing a rise of ‘connected home controllers’ using technology to help them complete those everyday tasks and find balance in their home.”

The research also found two fifths don’t feel in control of their home lives, leaving them feeling stressed (25 per cent) and worried (11 per cent). To maintain control, those polled employ an array of tactics, from implementing cleaning rotas, to turning to technology in a bid to make those everyday tasks simpler.

Almost a fifth believe smart technology such as voice assistants and smart thermostats mean it is easier than ever for control freaks!

The aspects of home life those polled want to control include the household finances (48 per cent) and management of the weekly food shop (44 per cent).

More than a third said they want instant control over the temperature of their home and 32 per cent ‘need’ to monitor the recycling.

Men believe they control the TV remote (63 per cent compared to 35 per cent of women). They also think they are in charge of DIY (61 per cent compared to 26 per cent) and home security (58 per cent v 32 per cent).

However, women said they rule the roost when it comes to hosting, home décor choices and controlling the thermostat.

And the Hive study carried out through OnePoll found many are willing to revert to underhand tactics if someone else attempts to take control.

More than a quarter admitted they have emptied and reloaded the dishwasher when it wasn’t done as they would do it. And almost half have changed the thermostat behind the backs of those they live with and a quarter have re-hung wet washing after their other half has done it ‘incorrectly’.

Peter Simon, managing director at Hive, said: “The research clearly shows people want a stress-free home and are beginning to use technology to help achieve this.

“Whilst we’ve got people’s smart home tech covered, we didn’t want to stop there and have teamed up with the self-confessed control freak, Chris Robshaw, to help you get your home back under control.”

Rugby ace Robshaw added: “In sport, we have this saying – ‘control the controllables’ and I apply this to my everyday life. “When I feel everything is in order off the pitch, I often feel more control when I am on the pitch.”

For the chance to have Chris Robshaw come to your home and help you regain control, click here [] or tweet using the hashtag, #HiveGotControl


1. If your life admin feels as though it is getting out of control – take a step back to work out your priorities. Look at what needs to be tackled first and break this down into a set of short-term, realistic goals. Be sure to recognise and acknowledge when you have completed a task. Making use of the to-do section on your phone is a great place to start, sometimes simply being able to tick something off your to-do-list, no matter how small, can really help to put your mind at ease.

2. When the temperature is warm, our cortisol levels (the stress hormone) drops, meaning it is much easier to unwind and relax. In the chillier months, arriving home after a hectic day to a warm house can make all the difference to your mood. It might be worth considering installing smart technology such as a smart thermostat like Hive Active Heating, which allows you to control your heating from your smart phone.

3. The environment we create in our home, can really impact our mood, leaving us feeling sluggish and out of control if we don’t get it right. Creating a relaxing space, can help you feel calm away from the general hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Adjust the lighting in your home to create a cosy atmosphere – either by letting in natural light or decorating a room with carefully placed lamps. 

4. Another way to feel more in control is to declutter. As the saying goes, a tidy home leads to a tidy mind and can actually leave you feeling more motivated, and ready to tackle what life throws at you.

5. Don’t be afraid to delegate and ask for help from those you live with. There is a lot to consider when looking after a home from putting out the rubbish, to making sure the cleaning gets done and all the bills are paid on time.

Don’t be afraid to spread the load with those that you live with reduce the burden and allow you to spend less time worrying about the small stuff, and more time enjoying the big stuff.

Chris Price