‘When the daily commute stops’: a long-distance commuter’s reflections on commuting and telecommuting across the COVID-19 pandemic
This article foregrounds the working experience of a knowledge worker in the United Kingdom across three years (2019–2022) that included periods of ‘lockdown’ and other social restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Across seven separate interview extracts, it offers a longitudinal narrative on the lived experience of substituting a workday comprising a long-distance commute by car to work ‘standard’ hours for an extended workday telecommuting from home. Over time the worker paradoxically recognises that telecommuting entails added pressures of work intensification, extensification and greater domestic responsibility but this is preferable to returning to a long-distance dissatisfying commute. The reflexive narrative reveals how he embraces the pressures of telecommuting through job crafting to re-identify as an autonomous professional and more engaged care-giving parent. The article contributes to the literature on hybrid/flexible forms of work organisation emerging from the pandemic by indicating the importance of micro-level considerations and implications for gender equality.
- Loughborough Business School
Published inWork, Employment and Society
Pages279 - 290
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Author(s)
Publisher statementThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).