Growing the Virtual Workplace
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Growing the Virtual Workplace

The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework

Alain Verbeke, Robert Schulz, Nathan Greidanus and Laura Hambley

Unique features of the book include an integrative framework for increasing telework adoption; practical tips – specific to each stakeholder – on how best to implement and measure telework; and an analysis of original survey data exploring the virtual workplace adoption decision.
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Chapter 4: Telework Impacts: The Societal Perspective

Alain Verbeke, Robert Schulz, Nathan Greidanus and Laura Hambley


Beyond impacts on employees and organizations, telework adoption also has broader, macro-level, societal effects. Societal-level impacts are important as they influence public policy and regulations that set the framework for potential telework adoption at all three levels of analysis (employee, organizational and societal). It is also at the societal level that telework’s environmental impacts are best assessed, as such impacts are felt on a regional and even global scale. Compared with other transportation policy tools, telework has many advantages for cities and municipalities (Illegems and Verbeke, 2003). For one, telework requires relatively modest public expenditures, as the available ICT typically already accommodates telework. From a societal perspective telework benefits cities by decreasing the number of vehicles using the roads. Telework’s influence on commute trip reductions will have long-, medium- and short-term impacts. These impacts include effects on residential relocation, car ownership, modal splits, noncommute trips and latent demand. Telework-induced commute trip reductions can impact air pollution, road congestion, noise pollution, road accidents, energy consumption, road maintenance, new road construction and the usage of mass transit. Beyond commute trip reductions, cities and regions are also affected by non-commute-related telework impacts: economic impacts, new job opportunities, community development and safety, environmental impacts beyond emission reductions, and operational continuity. The short-term, medium-term, and long-term commute-related impacts of large-scale telework adoption are depicted in Figure 4.1. These impacts are briefly outlined in the following sections; further elaboration and quantification of these impacts are provided in Chapter...

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