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Teleworking: Decreasing Mobility or Increasing Tolerance of Commuting Distances?

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Teleworking is widely considered to be a way of solving mobility issues by decreasing the number of commuting trips. However, little is known about teleworking and, more specifically, its links with spatial mobilities and the potential rebound effects. Statistical analysis of data from the Swiss Mobility and Transport Microcensus shows some limits to the ability of teleworking to regulate mobility in Switzerland. Firstly, commuting to a conventional workplace is replaced by (albeit shorter) journeys for other purposes. Secondly, and more importantly, teleworkers live further away from the workplace than their colleagues (24.6 km vs. 16.1 km). Our analysis shows that, although teleworking may reduce the number of commuting trips, it is likely to increase the distance travelled over a working week. Being able to work at home for part of the week may consequently decrease the propensity for residential relocation and increase tolerance for long distance commuting.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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