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The effect of working from home on major time allocations with a focus on food-related activities

Brandon Restrepo and Eliana Zeballos

Review of Economics of the Household, 2020, vol. 18, issue 4, No 12, 1165-1187

Abstract: Abstract Telecommuting has been on the rise in the U.S. and working from home may affect how workers allocate their time over the course of a day. In this paper, using a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) framework, we examine differences in time spent in major activities between individuals who worked from home and away from home. We use data on prime working-age adults (age 25–54 years old) who participated in the 2017–18 Leave and Job Flexibilities Module of the American Time Use Survey. Results show that prime working-age American adults who worked from home during their diary day spent less time working and on personal care, but more time on leisure, sleeping, and on food production and consumption than those who worked away from home. For instance, among individuals with a spouse or partner present, those who worked from home spent 25 more minutes engaged in food production and 48 more minutes eating and drinking at home than did individuals who worked away from home, which are large relative to the sample averages of 33 and 31 min, respectively. These results show that there is important variation in the daily time allocation of workers in their prime working years and suggest in particular that working from home may allow for substantially more time to produce food and consume food at home, which may provide teleworkers with health benefits since home-produced meals tend to be lower in calories and higher in nutrients than meals prepared away from home.

Keywords: Time use; Work from home; Telework; Work; Food production; Eating and drinking at home; D13; I12; J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09497-9

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