Time-use and well-being impacts of travel-to-work and travel-for-work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



This article contributes to understanding of the complex patterns of travel-to-work and travel-for-work which increasingly characterize highly skilled employment, using 2015 data from a UK Midlands study comprising an online survey and follow-up interviews. Travel-to-work essentially lengthens the working day, and is difficult to use productively, especially when commuting by car. Travel-for-work, by contrast, results in intense schedules especially when requiring overnight stays. Ownership of travel-for-work is ambiguous: it is employer driven, and travel time is often spent productively using mobile technologies, but is rarely rewarded with TOIL. While general dissatisfaction is reported with the commute, negative effects of travel-for-work (family, health, reduced leisure time) are mediated by positive impacts including experience of new working cultures, and infrequency of travel. Four factors appear central to the differing well-being impacts: (1) frequency of travel; (2) ability to plan travel; (3) productive use of travel time, and; (4) reciprocal benefits of travel.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-254
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2016


  • highly skilled workers , subjective well-being , time-use, mobile working , travelfor-work , travel-to-work