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Flexible Work and Travel Substitution

The possibilities and impacts of virtual mobility


Flexible work using modern information and communication technologies can reduce the need to travel - or can it? 

Properly implemented, we believe it can. But it's a complex issue, as travel behaviours, working practices and locational decisions move into new territory which can also generate new trips.

And, of course, it's an issue with very wide implications beyond the workplace. The potential benefits (or otherwise) are great for society and for the environment. 

Features

Long distance commuters more likely to leave job - and more likely to leap at flexible working
Commuting distances have an impact on both staff loyalty, and their attitudes to working flexibly.  We look at research that highlights the link between commuting distances, staff retention and the propensity to want flexible working.

Transport for London says: "Don't travel!"
Transport for London have produced a Smarter Working Guide to encourage London businesses to reduce travel through flexible working

Businesses look to technology to help reduce travel
The report Business Travel: Choice or Necessity from the RAC Foundation provides important insights into the under-researched area of business travel.


Older articles - still useful!

Time, mobility and economic growth
An analytical article exploring the historic and future connections between mobility and economic growth. In a nutshell, the further we can travel, the greater our prosperity. But what impact will “virtual mobility” have, and how is it changing the equation?

Virtual mobility and its impact on travel
Does working online reduce the need to travel? What about ecommerce - does it increase or reduce travel and freight movements? We report the findings of a global literature review.


"Where in the world will I go today?"


 

What is Travel Substitution?

The following types of ICT-based activity all have potentially a travel-reducing effect:

  • Remote working by employees - "teleworking". This may be from other company sites, on the road (e.g. from variable locations between visits to clients or sites), or from home

  • Collaborative working with partners, contractors and suppliers over electronic networks

  • Electronic service delivery (ESD) and electronic commerce (ecommerce) - delivering services and products to customers electronically.

  • Remote monitoring and remote diagnostics

All these activities have the potential to reduce the amount of travel undertaken by people in the course of their employment, bringing cost savings to both organisations and individuals, and having the potential for spin-off environmental benefits.

 


 

 

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