Wired to the World, Chained to the Home
256 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
21 b&w illustrations, 10 tables
Release Date:30 Sep 2001
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Wired to the World, Chained to the Home

Telework in Daily Life

UBC Press

How does working at home change people's activity patterns,social networks, and their living and working spaces? How will itchange the way we plan houses and communities in the future? Willtelecommuting solve many of society's ills, or create newghettos?

Gurstein combines a background in planning, sociology of work, andfeminist theory with qualitative and quantitative data from ten yearsof original research, including in-depth interviews and surveys, tounderstand the socio-spatial impact of home-based work on daily lifepatterns. She analyzes the experiences of teleworkers includingemployees, independent contractors, and self-employed entrepreneurs,and presents significant findings regarding the workload, mobility, thedistinct differences according to work status and gender, and thetensions in trying to combine work and domestic activities in the samesetting. As organizational structures, technology, and familypriorities continue to change, the often overlooked phenomenon ofteleworkers has important implications on everything from employmentpolicies to community planning and design.


  • 2001, Winner - K.D. Srivastava Award, UBC Press
Gurstein gives an extremely valuable, comprehensive view of the telework boom that integrates her own studies in Canada with world- wide literature on the subject. She gives a scholarly appraisal of telework’s many forms and shows how they differ in their human impacts. William Michelson, S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto
Penny Gurstein is Associate Professor at the UBCSchool of Community and Regional Planning and Chair of the Centre forHuman Settlements, where she specializes in urban design, participatoryplanning processes, and the sociocultural aspects of communityplanning.
Figures and Tables

1. Telework As Restructured Work
2. Profiling the Teleworker: Contextualizing Telework
3. Working at Home and Being at Home: Blurred Boundaries
4. A Strategy of a Dispensable Workforce: Telework in Canada
5. Localizing the Networked Economy: A Vancouver Case Study
6. "I Don't Have a Home, I Live in My Office": Transformations in the Spaces of Daily Life
7. Convergence: Telework As Everywhere, Every Time
8. Conclusion

A. Survey Instrument of California Study: Interview Schedule for Study on Social and Environmental Impact of Working at Home
B. Survey Instrument of Canadian Survey: Telework and Home-Based Employment Survey
C. Respondent Occupations, California Study
D. Respondent Occupations, Canadian Survey

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