From Alvin Toffler’s (1980) “electronic cottage,” to Peter Drucker’s (1993) declaration that commuting to an office was obsolete, through countless disruptions ever since, people have predicted the widespread adoption of working from home, with concomitant benefits to congestion, fuel consumption, and emissions. Yet while telecommuting has seen steady growth in the “information era,” overall levels have remained modest—until recently, when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its adoption on an unprecedented scale. What will happen when it is safe to go back to the office? Will managers and staff alike embrace the benefits of working from home, or will it be back to business as usual? This webinar offers a snapshot of the present, reviews past research and experience on the adoption and travel-related impacts of telecommuting and reflects on future implications for transportation.
Patricia Mokhtarian, Ph.D., Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Alice Grossman, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst, Eno Center for Transportation
Patricia Mokhtarian is the Susan G. and Christopher D. Pappas Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She joined Georgia Tech in 2013, after 23 years at the University of California, Davis, where she was a CEE Professor, Associate Director for Education of the Institute of Transportation Studies, and Founding Chair of the Transportation Technology and Policy Graduate Group. Prior to that, she spent nine years in regional planning and consulting in Southern California, after completing her PhD at Northwestern University. Dr. Mokhtarian has specialized in the application of rigorous quantitative methods to the study of travel behavior for more than 35 years. A key research interest has been the impact of telecommunications technology on travel behavior, with additional interests in land use and transportation interactions, attitudes toward travel itself, multitasking, travel time budgets, induced demand, and congestion-response behavior. She has authored or co-authored more than 200 refereed journal articles, technical reports, and other publications, including more than 40 peer-reviewed articles relating to telecommuting. She is a recent Past Chair of the International Association for Travel Behavior Research and serves on the editorial boards of nine transportation journals.