Time‐Use and Well‐Being Impacts of Travel‐To‐Work and Travel‐For‐Work

17 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016

See all articles by Daniel Wheatley

Daniel Wheatley

Nottingham Trent University

Craig Bickerton

Nottingham University Business School

Date Written: November 2016


This article contributes to our understanding of the complex patterns of travel‐to‐work and travel‐for‐work which increasingly characterise highly skilled employment, using 2015 data from a UK Midlands study comprising an online survey and follow‐up interviews. Travel‐to‐work essentially lengthens the working day, and is difficult to use productively, especially when commuting by car. Travel‐for‐work, by contrast, results in intense schedules especially when requiring overnight stays. Ownership of travel‐for‐work is ambiguous: it is employer driven, and travel time is often spent productively using mobile technologies, but is rarely rewarded with TOIL. While general dissatisfaction is reported with the commute, negative effects of travel‐for‐work (family, health, reduced leisure time) are mediated by positive impacts including experience of new working cultures, and infrequency of travel. Four factors appear central to the differing well‐being impacts: (1) frequency of travel; (2) ability to plan travel; (3) productive use of travel time, and; (4) reciprocal benefits of travel.

Keywords: highly skilled workers, subjective well‐being, time‐use, mobile working, travel‐for‐work, travel‐to‐work.

Suggested Citation

Wheatley, Daniel and Bickerton, Craig, Time‐Use and Well‐Being Impacts of Travel‐To‐Work and Travel‐For‐Work (November 2016). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 3, pp. 238-254, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2870820 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12074

Daniel Wheatley (Contact Author)

Nottingham Trent University ( email )

Burton Street
Nottingham NG1 4BU, NG1 4LN
United Kingdom

Craig Bickerton

Nottingham University Business School ( email )

Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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