Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Almost half of all jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area are “remote-eligible” – more than any other metropolitan area in the United States, due to the high concentration of employees in the technology sector who were early to embrace teleworking at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Any significant share of these tech workers staying remote may have profound long-term impacts on aggregate travel patterns in the region. This research seeks to predict the magnitude of these impacts and derive insights about the newly learned behaviors of tech workers, as indicative of remote-eligible workers in general. A survey of over 660 tech workers ran from November 2021 to March 2022, asking about participants’ employers and remote work policies, commute details and mode preferences, non-work trips, and interest in relocation. Respondents expected employer-driven hybrid arrangements of 2–3 days per week in the office after the pandemic, which in turn dictated the number of predicted future commuting trips and suppressed interest in relocation. Though almost half of respondents expressed interest in moving, they only planned to move a median of 20.93 miles – staying within the region but shifting away from their offices and towards less dense and more automobile-oriented suburban neighborhoods. Additionally, those moving more than ten miles from their office are likely to switch to less sustainable travel modes. On the other hand, robust observed retention of online shopping habits for groceries and food delivery may mitigate the added vehicle trips caused by rebound effects.
ICT, Relocation, Remote work, Tech industry, Telecommuting, Telework
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Urban and Regional Planning
Simon Tan, Kevin Fang, and T. William Lester. "Post-pandemic travel patterns of remote tech workers" Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2023.100804