2001 volume 33(6) pages 1015 – 1029

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Vilhelmson B, Thulin E, 2001, "Is regular work at fixed places fading away? The development of ICT-based and travel-based modes of work in Sweden" Environment and Planning A 33(6) 1015 – 1029

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Is regular work at fixed places fading away? The development of ICT-based and travel-based modes of work in Sweden

Bertil Vilhelmson, Eva Thulin

Received 16 November 2000; in revised form 16 March 2001

Abstract. Information and communication technologies (ICT) may increase people's freedom to decide when, where, and how they wish to work and travel. With the aid of data from national surveys on the use of ICT by the Swedish population, our objective is to investigate the overall spread of ICT-based modes of work such as telework, mobile work, and teleconferences in an emerging informational society. The concepts of home-based, commuting-based, and mobile work form a starting point. The numbers and proportions of teleworkers are estimated using different criteria regarding the role of ICT. The current diffusion of telework is at a low and constant level, although general access to computers and telecommunication equipment is widespread, high, and increasing. Gender, type of profession, type of employment, and possession of a driver's license influence group-level differences between those who do telework and those who do not. Income and computer access are the dominating factors of influence at the individual level. In the main finding we contrast expectations of a rapid replacement of travel-based modes of work by ICT-based modes. An activity-based framework for a better understanding of the acceptance of ICT-based activities and their effects on the employment - travel landscape is outlined.

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