TRB AMS50 Webinar 2/10/23: Telecommuting in the Pandemic Era

February 6, 2023

Join VTC’s Hannah Younes, PhD and University of Minnesota’s Xinyi Qian, PhD for this TRB AMS50 Webinar.

10:00-11:00 AM (New York Time)
Friday, February 10, 2023

Moderated by: Dr. Jason Cao, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities & Dr. Kate Ko, WSP

Telecommuting During COVID-19: How Does It Shape the Future Workplace and Workforce?

Xinyi Qian, PhD

The objective of this research is to assess the impact of temporarily shifting the workforce to telecommuting on: (1) workplace policy changes, employee support, and future telecommuting plans, (2) employees’ experience of telecommuting during COVID-19 and forecast of future telecommuting, and (3) differences among geographic areas, life circumstances, and demographic characteristics. The project employed a mixed-method approach, doing focus groups of human resources professionals in April 2021 and surveying workers and employers during the July through September 2021 period.

Xinyi Qian, Ph.D. is the Director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center. Dr. Qian conducts applied research on a variety of topics related to travel and tourism, including visitor behaviors, active transportation, sustainable tourism, among others. Her research has informed policies related to bicycling, and her visitor profile work has informed marketing and branding decisions in various Minnesota tourism destinations. Prior to joining the Tourism Center, Dr. Qian was a research associate in the Department of Forest Resources at University of Minnesota.

Working from Home During COVID-19: Flash in the Pan or Wave of the Future?

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced daily routines around the world, with a dramatic increase in the uptake in working at home, enabled by computer and communication technologies. This study examines who can work from home during the pandemic and whether this behavior will persist post-pandemic. To do so, we conducted two representative on-line panel surveys in the State of New Jersey: fielded starting in December of both 2020 and 2021, both ending in February. The surveys include a number of questions associated with individuals’ work and commute patterns before and during the pandemic as well as their expectation and desire to continue working from home after the pandemic is no longer a threat. Results suggest that those with higher educational status and higher incomes, those with some prior experience working at home are more likely to do so in the future. Those who we define as “deniers” of the pandemic were less likely to increase working from home during the pandemic or to desire working from home in the future. Demographic variability is minor, and a large fraction of respondents indicate a desire to work more at home post-pandemic. Implications for transportation systems and economic activity in central cities will be of concern to policy makers.

Hannah Younes

Hannah Younes, PhD

Dr. Hannah Younes is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University. Her research interests revolve around sustainable transportation and promoting equity. In her role at Rutgers University, Dr. Younes is focusing on crash detection from micromobility, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on everyday behavior, and on reducing vulnerability to crashes in New Jersey. Her dissertation examined the potential of shared micromobility on the economy and the environment. Dr. Younes was a recipient of the Ann Wylie Dissertation Fellowship in 2021 and named as a U.S. DOT University Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year for 2020.

AMS50 Economic Development and Land Use

The Committee focuses on the impacts of transportation on the economy, environment, and society. It is concerned with efficient, effective, and equitable transportation systems that promote competitive advantage, economic resiliency, and sustainability for our cities, regions, and societies. This committee provides a cross-cutting forum for practitioners and researchers to understand the interrelationship between transportation, economic development and the economy, and land use, and the policies and management approaches required to create sustainable growth at national, regional, and local scales.

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