The work-from-home experiment during Covid-19 is expected to accelerate an already growing trend in more people escaping cities to work remotely in regional lifestyle locations.
Almost 50% of Australian workers were based at home during the lockdown and the success of this has opened the eyes of company managers. Many have reported increased productivity amongst their staff and some have made the changes permanent to save on commercial rent and other operating costs.
Seachanging and treechanging have been traditional retirement dreams for many city dwellers but remote working and advanced technology is now allowing people to do this earlier in life. The only thing standing in the way has been the reluctance of companies to try it but Covid-19 forced their hand.
A limiting factor for moving to regional areas has always been the lack of high-skill local job opportunities but remote working solves this problem. So, the door is opening further for e-changing.
Escaping the rat race
Average daily commutes in Australia’s cities are at all-time highs, resulting in lower job and life satisfaction.
Commuting is also a public health hazard because the time spent on transport reduces the time we have for activities such as exercising, socialising or spending time with our families.
City housing prices are increasingly unaffordable, particularly in well-serviced areas close to the CBD.
E-changers seek the best of both worlds – skilled, high-paid work that has traditionally only been available in the major cities, whilst living in a relaxed, pollution-free environment with a much lower mortgage.
Remote work not just at home
Remote workers don’t always work from home. Many people find it difficult to mix work and home life in the same physical space. That’s why remote workers often frequent cafes, libraries, satellite offices or co-working spaces.
Co-working is a multibillion-dollar industry globally and becoming popular in Australia. While mostly still located in cities, co-working spaces are increasingly popping up in coastal and regional towns to meet growing demand from e-changers.
Is e-change the future?
E-changing will undoubtedly boost the economies and civic life of regional and coastal towns.
Making remote work more widely available might also increase workforce participation among groups that aren’t able to commute to an office every day. This includes people with caring responsibilities, people with disabilities and those already living in regional areas.