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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling the Preference for Telecommuting: Measuring Attitudes and Other Variables


This paper begins to operationalize a previously published conceptual model of the individual decision to telecommute. Using survey data from 628 employees of the City of San Diego, hypothesized drives to telecommute and constraints on / facilitators of telecommuting are measured. A binary logit model of the preference to telecommute from home is estimated, having a p2 of 0.68. The explanatory variables include attitudinal and factual information. Factor analysis is performed on two groups of attitudinal questions, identifying a total of 17 (oblique) factors which can be classified as drives and constraints. Additional measures are created from other data in the survey, usually objective sociodemographic characteristics. Variables representing at least four of the five hypothesized drives (work, family, independence/leisure, and travel) are significant in the final model. Variables from four of the 10 groups of constraints (job suitability, social/professional and household interaction concerns, and a perceived benefit of commuting) are significant, primarily representing internal rather than external constraints. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of attitudinal measures over sociodemographic ones, as the same demographic characteristics (such as the presence of children, commute time) will have different effects on preference for different people.

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