Employee intentions and employer expectations: a mixed-methods systematic review of “post-COVID” intentions to work from home

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

literature review - literature review, ridership - commuting


Work from home, Covid-19, Telecommute, Mixed-methods review, Journey to work


The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated cultural and organisational acceptance of remote working. For a portion of the commuting workforce, working from home (WFH) is now possible. Of great interest is whether increased WFH will diminish actual mobility, and thereby reduce the transport task of cities. To understand this possibility, we must know how much WFH will be sustained into the future. Using a bespoke approach combining scholarly and grey literature, this review develops a tangible record of employee desires and intentions to WFH, in the context of the expectations of employers. Its contribution is a novel and rigorous appraisal of recent practices and sentiments. Results confirm that there is a strong underlying demand to WFH. Many studies, however, estimate unrealistically high rates of WFH which cannot be projected onto the wider working population. Further, we find there is a conflict between employee preferences and their expectations to WFH, with estimations of preferences far greater than estimates of expectations. This finding is confirmed by the analysis of employer sentiments. Employers broadly realise that accommodating WFH reflects a best-practice approach, yet favour predictable routines where specific days of on-site attendance are mandated. We conclude with reflections on the impact of our findings on the transport system. We propose that the impact of WFH on commuter decision-making depends on the degree to which employers mandate on-site attendance. Finally, we emphasise the need to acknowledge the wider political, economic and social milieu in which work is performed as shaping future WFH practice.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.