Teleworking to Play or Playing to Telework? A Latent Segmentation Approach to Exploring the Relationship Between Telework and Nonwork Travel

Term Start:

September 1, 2023

Term End:

May 31, 2024




Covid-19, Latent Segmentation, Telework, Travel Behavior

Thrust Area(s):

Data Modeling and Analytic Tools, Equity and Understanding User Needs

University Lead:

The University of Texas at Austin


Chandra Bhat

Technology has evolved at a tremendous pace over the past decade, permeating into our everyday existence and affecting literally every aspect of our lives. Our activity-travel choices have been no exception in this regard, as we make continuous and joint decisions about which activities we can and want to undertake (either in-person or virtually). Add to this the pandemic’s upheaval of habits and behaviors, and there emerges a critical and renewed need to understand the activity-travel choices and decisionsof individuals within a new landscape of transportation, technology, and pandemic-altered lifestyles. In this study, we explore the causal direction/jointness issue underlying the interplay of teleworking choice and nonwork travel, within the context of the telework landscape in the aftermath of the pandemic. In particular, we model the telework frequency, maintenance stop frequency, and leisure stop frequency decision-making process as a package choice to account for unobserved factors, as well as use a latent segmentation approach to recognize the two possible and distinct causal behavioral directions that may be at play. The methodology combines an ordinal choice model for telework adoption/intensity with weekly count models for the number of maintenance and leisure stops. The data for the analysis is drawn from a 2021-2022 weekly travel diary and survey of Minnesotan workers.

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