Publication Detail

The Impact of Gender, Occupation, and Presence of Children on Telecommuting Motivations and Constraints

UCD-ITS-RP-98-12

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Suggested Citation:
Mokhtarian, Patricia L., Michael N. Bagley, Ilan Salomon (1998) The Impact of Gender, Occupation, and Presence of Children on Telecommuting Motivations and Constraints. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 49 (12), 1115 - 1134

Telecommuting is gaining increased recognition as an alternative work arrangement having potentially beneficial effects for the employer, employee, and society at large. Accurate forecasts of the adoption of telecommuting are of interest to providers of equipment and services for home-based and remote work, and to public agencies promoting telecommuting for its social benefits. Accurate forecasts, in turn, depend on an understanding of what motivates individuals to adopt telecommuting and what constraints prevent them from doing so, since those motivations and constraints offer insight into who is likely to telecommute under what circumstances. Telecommuting motivations are likely to differ by various segments of society. For example, conventional wisdom has suggested that telecommuting would be more attractive to women than men. Since working women still undertake a disproportionate share of domestic responsibilities, the hypothesis is that the promise of telecommuting to save time and to offer greater flexibility would appeal even more strongly to women than to men. A previous study of telecommuting adoption found that indeed, females were significantly more likely to want to telecommute from home than males (p = 0.0008). However, preference within both groups was quite high (92% for women in the sample; 83% for men), raising the question of whether women and men wanted to telecommute for the same reasons or not. This study is part of an ongoing research project devoted to modeling telecommuting preference and choice.