, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 365–384 | Cite as

Factors associated with home-based e-working and e-shopping in Nanjing, China

  • Becky P. Y. Loo
  • Bo Wang


The widespread adoption of information and communication technology has facilitated frequent e-activities in people’s daily life. From the perspective of individual’s time use on e-working and e-shopping at home, this paper aims to enhance our understanding of the function of home beyond a living space for family life. Using a household survey of 608 full-time paid employees who conducted e-activities at home in Nanjing, China, we investigated the characteristics and patterns of home-based e-working and e-shopping. Only 7.9% of the respondents neither e-shopped nor e-worked at home. We find that the socio-demographic context, Internet use habits, attitudes towards e-working/e-shopping, and geographical accessibility have influenced the patterns of home-based e-working and e-shopping. The results indicate that the rich e-activities taking place at home have changed the time use at home and reinforced the function of home as a multifunctional hub.


Home Time use E-working E-shopping Geographical accessibility China 



The early draft of this paper was presented at the “International Symposium on ICT, Activities, Time use and Travel” organized by Nanjing University and International Association for China Planning (IACP) in July 2016, Nanjing. The authors greatly appreciate the comments from participants which helped to improve this paper. We are also grateful to the constructive comments of the three anonymous referees and the Guest Editors—Dr. Eran Ben-Elia and Prof. Feng Zhen.


Funding was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41671154).

Authors’ contribution

B. P. Y. Loo: identified the research gap, suggested the literature review and research design, critically review the data quality and methodology, edited the manuscript, and made final approval of the version submitted. B. Wang: collected data, performed the analysis, and drafted the manuscript.


  1. Aguilera, A., Lethiais, V., Rallet, A., Proulhac, L.: Home-based telework in France: characteristics, barriers and perspectives. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 92, 1–11 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, B., Ettema, D., Dijst, M.: Fragmentation of work activity as a multi-dimensional construct and its association with ICT, employment and sociodemographic characteristics. J. Transp. Geogr. 18(1), 55–64 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, W.P., Chatterjee, L., Lakshmanan, T.: E-commerce, transportation, and economic geography. Growth Change 34(4), 415–432 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andreev, P., Salomon, I., Pliskin, N.: Review: state of teleactivities. Transp. Res. Part C Emerg. Technol. 18(1), 3–20 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asgari, H., Jin, X., Du, Y.: Investigation of commute departure time to understand the impacts of part-day telecommuting on the temporal displacement of commute travel. In: Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting. No. 16-1662 (2016)Google Scholar
  6. Blunt, A.: Cultural geography: cultural geographies of home. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 29(4), 505–515 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blunt, A., Varley, A.: Geographies of home. Cult. Geogr. 11(1), 3–6 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Calderwood, E., Freathy, P.: Consumer mobility in the Scottish isles: the impact of internet adoption upon retail travel patterns. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 59, 192–203 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cao, X.J.: E-shopping, spatial attributes, and personal travel: a review of empirical studies. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2135, 160–169 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cao, X.J.: The relationships between e-shopping and store shopping in the shopping process of search goods. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 46(7), 993–1002 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cao, X.J., Chai, Y.: Gender role-based differences in time allocation: case study of Shenzhen, China. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2014, 58–66 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cao, X.J., Mokhtarian, P.L., Handy, S.L.: Examining the impacts of residential self-selection on travel behaviour: a focus on empirical findings. Transport Rev. 29(3), 359–395 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cao, X.J., Chen, Q., Choo, S.: Geographic distribution of e-shopping: application of structural equation models in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2383, 18–26 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. China Internet Network Information Center: The 31st Survey Report on Internet Development in China. CNNIC (2013).
  15. China Internet Network Information Center: The 35th Survey Report on Internet Development in China. CNNIC (2015).
  16. Corbusier, L.: The Athens Charter. Grossman Publishers, New York (1973)Google Scholar
  17. de Graaff, T., Rietveld, P.: Substitution between working at home and out-of-home: the role of ICT and commuting costs. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 41(2), 142–160 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Deng, H., Mokhtarian, P.L., Circella, G.: Factors influencing full-day, part-day, and overtime telecommuting: an investigation of Northern California Workers. In: Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting. No. 15-1825 (2015)Google Scholar
  19. Dijst, M.: ICTs and accessibility: an action space perspective on the impact of new information and communication technologies. In: Beuthe, M. (ed.) Transport developments and innovations in an evolving world, pp. 27–46. Springer Science & Business Media, Berlin (2004)Google Scholar
  20. Dijst, M., Farag, S., Schwanen, T.: A comparative study of attitude theory and other theoretical models for understanding travel behaviour. Environ. Plan. A 40(4), 831–847 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Domosh, M.: Geography and gender: home, again? Prog. Hum. Geogr. 22(2), 276–282 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fan, C.C.: Rural-urban migration and gender division of labor in transitional China. Int. J. Urban Reg. Res. 27(1), 24–47 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Farag, S., Krizek, K.J., Dijst, M.: E-Shopping and its relationship with in-store shopping: empirical evidence from the Netherlands and the USA. Transport Rev. 26(1), 43–61 (2006a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Farag, S., Weltevreden, J., Van Rietbergen, T., Dijst, M., van Oort, F.: E-shopping in the Netherlands: does geography matter? Environ. Plan. 33(1), 59–74 (2006b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fong, V.L.: Only Hope: Coming of Age Under China’s One-Child Policy. Stanford University Press, Stanford (2004)Google Scholar
  26. Foster Thompson, L., Aspinwall, K.R.: The recruitment value of work/life benefits. Pers. Rev. 38(2), 195–210 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Friedman, J., Hastie, T., Tibshirani, R.: The Elements of Statistical Learning. Springer Series in Statistics. Springer, Berlin (2001)Google Scholar
  28. Gärling, T., Gillholm, R., Gärling, A.: Reintroducing attitude theory in travel behavior research: the validity of an interactive interview procedure to predict car use. Transportation 25(2), 129–146 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Haddad, H., Lyons, G., Chatterjee, K.: An examination of determinants influencing the desire for and frequency of part-day and whole-day homeworking. J. Transp. Geogr. 17(2), 124–133 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Henderson, D.K., Mokhtarian, P.L.: Impacts of center-based telecommuting on travel and emissions: analysis of the Puget Sound Demonstration Project. Transp. Res. Part D Transport Environ. 1(1), 29–45 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hjorthol, R., Gripsrud, M.: Home as a communication hub: the domestic use of ICT. J. Transp. Geogr. 17(2), 115–123 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jain, J., Lyons, G.: The gift of travel time. J. Transp. Geogr. 16(2), 81–89 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kim, S.-N., Choo, S., Mokhtarian, P.L.: Home-based telecommuting and intra-household interactions in work and non-work travel: a seemingly unrelated censored regression approach. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 80, 197–214 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kwan, M.-P.: Cyberspatial cognition and individual access to information: the behavioral foundation of cybergeography. Environ. Plan. 28(1), 21–37 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kwan, M.-P.: Mobile communications, social networks, and urban travel: hypertext as a new metaphor for conceptualizing spatial interaction∗. Prof. Geogr. 59(4), 434–446 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kwan, M.-P.: Beyond space (as we knew it): toward temporally integrated geographies of segregation, health, and accessibility: space–time integration in geography and GIScience. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 103(5), 1078–1086 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kwan, M.-P., Kotsev, A.: Gender differences in commute time and accessibility in Sofia, Bulgaria: a study using 3D geovisualisation. Geogr. J. 181(1), 83–96 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kwan, M.-P., Dijst, M.J., Schwanen, T.: The interaction between ICT and human activity-travel behavior. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 41(2), 121–124 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lenz, B., Nobis, C.: The changing allocation of activities in space and time by the use of ICT-“Fragmentation” as a new concept and empirical results. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 41(2), 190–204 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Logan, J.R., Bian, F.: Family values and coresidence with married children in urban China. Soc. Forces 77(4), 1253–1282 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Loo, B.P.Y.: Strategies of internet development in the Asia-Pacific region. J. Urban Technol. 14(1), 3–22 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Loo, B.P.Y.: The E-Society. Nova Science Publishers, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  43. Loo, B.P.Y., Wang, B.: Progress of e-development in China since 1998. Telecommun. Policy (2017). doi: 10.1016/j.telpol.2017.03.001
  44. Loo, B.P.Y., Ngan, Y.: Developing mobile telecommunications to narrow digital divide in developing countries? Some lessons from China. Telecommun. Policy 36(10), 888–900 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lyons, G.: Viewpoint: transport’s digital age transition. J. Transport Land Use 8(2), 1–19 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mannering, J.S., Mokhtarian, P.L.: Modeling the choice of telecommuting frequency in California: an exploratory analysis. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 49(1), 49–73 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Midi, H., Sarkar, S.K., Rana, S.: Collinearity diagnostics of binary logistic regression model. J. Interdiscip. Math. 13(3), 253–267 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mokhtarian, P.L., Salomon, I.: Modeling the choice of telecommuting: setting the context. Environ. Plan. A 26(5), 749–766 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mokhtarian, P.L., Salomon, I.: Modeling the choice of telecommuting: 3. Identifying the choice set and estimating binary choice models for technology-based alternatives. Environ. Plan. A 28(10), 1877–1894 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mokhtarian, P.L., Salomon, I., Choo, S.: Measuring the measurable: why can’t we agree on the number of telecommuters in the US? Qual. Quant. 39(4), 423–452 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mokhtarian, P.L., Ory, D.T., Cao, X.: Shopping-related attitudes: a factor and cluster analysis of Northern California shoppers. Environ. Plan. 36(2), 204–228 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nilles, J.M.: Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff: Options for Tomorrow. Wiley, London (1976)Google Scholar
  53. Oyserman, D., Coon, H.M., Kemmelmeier, M.: Rethinking individualism and collectivism: evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analyses. Psychol. Bull. 128(1), 3 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Paleti, R.: Generalized extreme value models for count data: application to worker telecommuting frequency choices. Transp. Res. Part B Methodol. 83, 104–120 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pred, A.: The choreography of existence: comments on Hägerstrand’s time-geography and its usefulness. Econ. Geogr. 53(2), 207–221 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pred, A.: Place as historically contingent process: structuration and the time-geography of becoming places. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 74(2), 279–297 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ren, F., Kwan, M.-P.: The impact of geographic context on e-shopping behavior. Environ. Plan. 36(2), 262–278 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roodman, D.: Estimating fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp (2009). Available at SSRN:
  59. Schwanen, T., Dijst, M., Kwan, M.P.: ICTs and the decoupling of everyday activities, space and time: introduction. Tijdschr. Econ. Soc. Geogr. 99(5), 519–527 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sener, I.N., Reeder, P.R.: An examination of behavioral linkages across ICT choice dimensions: copula modeling of telecommuting and teleshopping choice behavior. Environ. Plan. A 44(6), 1459–1478 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Singh, P., Paleti, R., Jenkins, S., Bhat, C.R.: On modeling telecommuting behavior: option, choice, and frequency. Transportation 40(2), 373–396 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Statistical Bureau of Nanjing: Statistical Yearbook of Nanjing 2013. Phoenix Press of Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, Nanjing (2014)Google Scholar
  63. Statistical Bureau of Nanjing: Statistical Yearbook of Nanjing 2014. Phoenix Press of Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, Nanjing (2015)Google Scholar
  64. Ta, N., Chai, Y., Zhang, Y., Sun, D.: Understanding job-housing relationship and commuting pattern in Chinese cities: past, present and future. Transp. Res. Part D Transport Environ 52, 562–573 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. The People’s Daily.: Does telecommute work? (2016). Accessed 12 June 2016
  66. Tuan, Y.F.: Home. In: Harrison, S., Pile, S., Thrift, N. (eds.) Patterned Ground: The Entanglements of Nature and Culture, pp. 164–165. Reaktion Books, Islington (2004)Google Scholar
  67. Wang, D., Lin, T.: Built environments, social environments, and activity-travel behavior: a case study of Hong Kong. J. Transp. Geogr. 31, 286–295 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wang, X.-R., Hui, E.C.-M., Choguill, C., Jia, S.-H.: The new urbanization policy in China: which way forward? Habitat Int. 47, 279–284 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wilton, R.D., Páez, A., Scott, D.M.: Why do you care what other people think? A qualitative investigation of social influence and telecommuting. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 45(4), 269–282 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wu, F.: Planning for Growth: Urban and Regional Planning in China. Routledge, London (2015)Google Scholar
  71. Yuan, F., Gao, J., Wu, J.: Nanjing-an ancient city rising in transitional China. Cities 50, 82–92 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhai, Q., Cao, X., Mokhtarian, P.L., Zhen, F.: The interactions between e-shopping and store shopping in the shopping process for search goods and experience goods. Transportation, 1–20 (2016). doi: 10.1007/s11116-016-9683-9
  73. Zhen, F., Cao, X., Mokhtarian, P.L., Xi, G.: Associations between online purchasing and store purchasing for four types of products in Nanjing, China. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2566, 93–101 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhou, Y., Wang, X.C.: Explore the relationship between online shopping and shopping trips: an analysis with the 2009 NHTS data. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 70, 1–9 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zuo, J., Bian, Y.: Gendered resources, division of housework, and perceived fairness—a case in urban China. J. Marriage Fam. 63(4), 1122–1133 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations