Company Incentives and Tools for Promoting Telecommuting
M Borjesson, M Robèrt, Royal Institute of Technology, SE
Like most other metropolitan areas in Europe and the rest of the world, the Stockholm region is experiencing increasing traffic related problems, with a more densely occupied road network each year. Since advanced information technology is widely spread in society, and a large share of the workforce is engaged in information processing, telecommuting has the potential to work as a traffic-managing tool. However, in the society at large this work form is still not as widely spread as expected and whished for.
This paper uses a case study from a business district called Nacka Strand outside Stockholm, where we investigate which factors influence the employees? willingness, or ability, to adopt telecommuting. We expect that the choice to telecommute largely depend on the attitude or lack of promotion and support from labor management. By focusing on the employees? preferences, constraints and choices with respect to telecommuting, we emphasize on how companies could promote telecommuting and what they would gain from it. The objective is to find instruments to promote telecommuting from a company level.
We will investigate which incentives and obstacles are the most determining for the choice to telecommute, and how the willingness to telecommute depends on certain external variables, possible for the company to use as incentives to promote telecommuting. Examples of such variables affecting the rate of telecommuting are e.g. company sponsored computer equipment at home, broadband or modem connection to the internet, top-down attitudes towards telecommuting within the company, monetary incentives if helping the company to obtain economical savings from reduced office areas where telecommuters use foldaway desktops instead of private office rooms.
The empirical data consists of questionnaires from 460 Ericsson employees in the business district of Nacka Strand outside Stockholm. The response rate is 55%. The survey focuses on revealed preferences towards telecommuting among the employees ? both telecommuters and non-telecommuters. The data characterize the employees due to age, income, sex and travel patterns and contains their perceptions of the main incentives and obstacles towards telecommuting. The survey also include a ?stated preference game? in order to estimate the employees? valuation of their office rooms in comparison to flexible office areas. The latter might help companies to save rental charges by letting several telecommuters use the same office area, but at different occasions during the week. We use the data to compute the willingness to choose flexible office areas instead of private office rooms as dependent on the employee.
Association for European Transport