Telecommuting and food E-commerce: Socially sustainable practices during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada

Elsevier, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Volume 13, March 2022
Music J., Charlebois S., Toole V., Large C.
Telecommuting has become a dominant professional experience for many Canadian business and workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommuting has several benefits that are separate from COVID-19. Two prevalent changes have been in regard to telecommuting and online food buying habits, both of which impact social wellbeing as a dimension of social sustainability. We discuss two exploratory surveys on the perception of telecommuting and food e-commerce. We found that while telecommuting has the potential to increase social wellbeing and the social sustainability of both urban and rural Canadian communities through a variety of mechanisms, food e-commerce does not offer similar returns. Instead, the prevalence of food e-commerce merely adds convenience to the lives of those who already have adequate food access while maintaining the status quo, or even worsening access for disadvantaged Canadians.