(image credit: Marco Verch CC BY)

What counts

It’s not because it can be expressed in numbers, that it necessarily matters

Are you concerned about efficiency? I bet you are: you probably don’t go all the way to the supermarket just for one jar of mayonnaise, and the next day for one box of tissues. You probably also don’t put the washing machine on just for one pair of underpants, but wait until the laundry basket is full. It almost goes without saying.

Not in Hong Kong, but in Milano: this bijou flat is just under 15 m2 per person (image: Planair.eu)

More efficiency is possible

Unless you actually live in Hong Kong (even the average Chinese person still has one-third more space), you can see there is plenty of opportunity to utilize your home a lot more efficiently than you do (or to move to a smaller, cheaper place). If you were of course so deeply concerned with the efficient use of space, that is. Yet, the evidence is that most of us do not. We seem to prefer a more spacious, less efficiently used home. Are we crazy to leave so much money lying around, if we could cut our rent or mortgage easily by half or more?

The lure of the number

Yet the lure of the number is large: figures carry an irresistible authority.

Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius