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Telework and mobility in French-speaking Switzerland: What impacts today and what potentials tomorrow?

Context: forced experience and need to reduce travel

The first half of 2020 was marked by a global pandemic of an extraordinary magnitude. In front of the serious health threat, governments around the world have reacted with unprecedented measures, particularly more or less strict confinement. Although this health crisis has profoundly changed the life of each and everyone in all social areas, professional life has been particularly affected. For many workers, the confinement instructions have led to a massive adoption of teleworking.

At the same time, the world is grappling with climate change, linked to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions — in Switzerland, the transport sector is responsible for almost a third of them. The need to reduce those emissions remains a priority for the climate’s preservation and requires large-scale behavioral changes, including modal shift and reduction of distances traveled. In this context, the practice of teleworking makes it theoretically possible to reduce the number of trips between home and work as well as the distances traveled and CO2 emissions.

Aims of the study

This double observation drove us to launch a study on the practice of teleworking before, during and after the confinement, in order to better understand the challenges of mobility and identify its potential to reduce its externalities in the future. Therefore this study aims to:

  • Evaluate the practice of teleworking and the resulting mobility behaviors outside of a confinement situation;  measure the existing delta of mobility between a teleworking day in comparison to an usual working day;
  • Understand how the recent and unprecedented experience of large-scale teleworking was felt by workers in Romandie and how it can modify their future mobility practices;
  • Measure the medium-term impact of a regular practice of teleworking in terms of mobility, for a large segment of the working population.

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Experts involved in this project

Other references for domain :  Lifestyles

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Other references for domain :  Shared mobility and alternative transport modes

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