Teleworking, Travel, and Quality of Life Before, During, and After the Pandemic Across Different Population Groups in the U.S.

Research Team: Michael G. McNally (lead), Rezwana Rafiq, and Mohammad Yusuf Sarwar Uddin

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: The COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed social distancing measures led many people to adopt telecommuting arrangements — working from home or teleworking — on a large scale. A recent survey found that, between February and May 2020, over one-third of the American labor force swapped in-person work with telework, which increased the share of remote working to nearly 50 percent of the nation’s workforce. These massive changes in work arrangements may have long-term impacts, including how work is organized, where work is performed, and how activities and travel are scheduled. If telecommuting continues it is important to know whether it results in less travel, less commute stress, and consequently a happier life.

Project Description: This research will explore how teleworking is related to overall travel and individuals’ well-being. Using the American Time Use Survey 2019, 2020, and 2021, the research team will analyze the travel patterns of telecommuters pre-, peri-, and post-pandemic compared with that of conventional commuter groups. The team will also analyze the connection between telecommuting and well-being and whether telecommuters are happier than their counterparts. The research findings will provide insights into formulating telecommute and travel-related policies to improve individuals’ quality of life.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $106,833

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