Telework on the up, but jams not getting shorter

Telecommuting is on the up. Last year, almost 600,000 Belgians were allowed by their employer to work at least one day at home, a figure which is 20 percent up compared to 5 years ago. The strange thing however is that traffic jams are meanwhile not getting any shorter.

Labour sociologist Geert Van Hootegem sees different explanations for the success: "There is the improved technology of course. Also, employers calculate the cost of working in the office, and if employees work at home, they can cut costs. You have the traffic jams, and a changed mentality. Different factors have created a momentum."

Still, the growing success of telecommuting does not have a positive impact on the traffic jams. "This is because the population is growing, and thus also the working population", says the VRT traffic expert Hajo Beeckman. "One thing wipes out another."

Other measures taken by employers include flexible working hours, but this does not solve mobility issues, it just shifts the problem.