Millennials' changing mobility preferences: A telecommuting case in Istanbul

Erdogdu A. I., WATSON F.

JOURNAL OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR, vol.22, no.2, pp.483-495, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/cb.2101
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, INSPEC, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.483-495
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Daily mobility behaviors, especially in cities with high traffic density, are among the most fundamental drivers of quality of life. Obligatory commuting necessitates individuals sacrificing their time, money, and geographic freedom to ensure their mobility. The personal cost of fatigue, stress, and environmental cost of carbon emissions is likewise substantial. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a widespread shift to telecommuting. The pandemic has permitted an unprecedented opportunity to study Millennials' attitudes towards commuting and telecommuting. A semi-structured interview method was used with Millennial (now the largest percentage of the workforce) white-collar (disproportionately able to do their work remotely) workers living in the megacity of Istanbul to understand how telecommuting has altered consumer commuting habits, values, preferences, and well-being. The results of this study show that Millennial white-collar workers in Istanbul see compulsory commuting as a waste of time, a stress factor, and an unwanted task. The shift towards telecommuting lowered the Millennials' tolerance for traffic and long commutes and reveals willingness for immobility at peak hours and appreciation of spatial independence as a lifestyle that increases quality of life. The need for understanding transport decisions has never been more pressing with the growth of megacities and the climate change crisis. This research has important implications for white-collar employees and their employers, as well as academics and public policy makers, who seek to understand mobility preferences and lifestyles of different generations and the environmental implications in a dynamic environment.