Teleworking during COVID-19 in the Netherlands: Understanding behaviour, attitudes, and future intentions of train travellers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, ridership - behaviour, ridership - attitudes, planning - service level


Teleworking behaviour, COVID-19, Attitude towards teleworking, Train travellers, Latent class cluster analysis, Travel patterns


With the arrival of COVID-19 in the Netherlands in Spring 2020 and the start of the “intelligent lockdown”, daily life changed drastically. The working population was urged to telework as much as possible. However, not everyone had a suitable job for teleworking or liked teleworking. From a mobility perspective, teleworking was considered a suitable means to alleviate travel. Even after the pandemic it can (continue to) reduce pressure on the mobility system during peak hours, thereby improving efficiency and level of service of transport services. Additionally, this could reduce transport externalities, such as emissions and unsafety. The structural impact from teleworking offers opportunities, but also challenges for the planning and operations of public transport. The aim of this study is to better understand teleworking during and after COVID-19 among train travellers, to support operators and authorities in their policy making and design. We study the telework behaviour, attitude towards teleworking, and future intentions through a longitudinal data collection. By applying a latent class cluster analysis, we identified six types of teleworkers, varying in their frequency of teleworking, attitude towards teleworking, intentions to the future, socio-demographics and employer policy. In terms of willingness-to-telework in the future, we distinguish three groups: the high willingness-to-telework group (71%), the low willingness-to-telework group (16%), and the least-impacted self-employed (12%). Those with high willingness are expected to have lasting changes in their travel patterns, where especially public transport is impacted. For this group, policy is required to ensure when (which days) and where (geographical) telework takes place, such that public transport operators can better plan and operate their services. For those with low willingness, it is essential that the government provides tools to companies (especially in education and vital sector) such that they can be better prepared for teleworking (mostly during but also after the pandemic). Employers on the other hand need to better support their employees, such that they stay in contact with colleagues and their concentration and productivity can increase.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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