Make it Work Episode 4: Why remote workers are going regional

Ellie Doyle, 4 min read

Make it Work Episode 4: Why remote workers are going regional

Make it Work is a five-part podcast series where @Karen Kirton, founder of Amplify HR, and Lachy, co-founder of Yarno, look at the modern workplace to find out what's working, what's not, and how the future of work is being shaped, today.


As remote work becomes the new normal, more and more people are trading in their city dwellings for regional houses that put life before work and offer a more wholesome lifestyle. In the fourth episode of Make it Work, Karen and Lachy discuss the relationship between remote work and regional areas.

Sharing their personal experiences, Lachy and Karen discuss both the benefits and downfalls of remote workers going regional and what this means for companies when they go to hire. Will regional remote workers open up the opportunities for companies to hire interstate? Or possibly even overseas? And how will this affect the future of work for Australians?


Show Notes

1.40 Reason for Lachy’s move to Newcastle

4:10 What happens when employees remove to a rural area and are then directed back to working from the city office

05:30 Is COVID the catalyst to kick-start a trend to working where suits you rather than where a job is physically located

07:45 In industries where more face to face meetings are being requested from clients, can you still live rurally?

10:25 Is the idea of remote working still really just for tech companies?

12:30 The costs of requiring people to live in the city and commute to a job where they can work remotely

15:57 Can you have staff working interstate with a hybrid workforce

18:20 Mindset shift to not needing to be near a major city to work

19:09 Can we choose where we want to live based on the location rather than if there is work locally available

20:02 Unintended benefit of remote work is that we can build diverse business relationships

20:40 Spending more time in local community than employer’s community

22:00  Are we changing the fabric of small towns with the ability to work remotely

23:30 A lot of American cities that we think of as large are less than a million people. Can Australia end up with a similar model?

26:30 The largest net quarterly loss from capital cities happened last year, but the ABS doesn’t see that continuing {reference 1}

29:20 Businesses may have some roles that can be fully remote and others that aren’t

30:30 Are we eroding terms and conditions of local jobs if we are tapping into international markets

31:30 Arguably it could make Australia more competitive if employees are competing with international employees for jobs

33:30 There are already platforms that enable business owners to find talent quickly across the world

36:30 Hiring people overseas adds a lot of complexity to your business. Is it out of reach for small-medium sized businesses unless they are using a platform such as Upwork or an agent of some kind

37:10 Wage growth in Australia has been so low and declining for years {reference 2}, but house prices are increasing at a phenomenal rate

38:00 The move away from Unions and collective bargaining has seen wage growth stagnate and that will continue. Along with the gap between what the people at the top of businesses earn compared to the average worker

39:10 Mission of Upwork is to democratise talent, but also to enable people to live outside of capital cities but get paid well {reference 3}

41:10 Article at the start of the pandemic considered if Australians are ready to compete against talent from across the world

42:00 If knowledge workers are essentially outsourced as we have seen with call centres and textile manufacturing in Australia, does this make businesses in Australia more competitive or give them an ethical dilemma

45:10 As business owners if we start to hire people across the globe, what is our role in trying to understand the cultural differences

46:00 Principles of over communication, trust and keeping an open mind will help create a great culture

47:30 Businesses may look to employ people now that will want to immigrate once the borders are reopened

48:40 Truck driving used to be a career, but now it is hard to find people

51:10 Universities are reliant on remote teaching as international students are still not able to come to Australia. How will this impact GDP in the longer term {reference 4}

52:50 With the idea of working anywhere, are people taking leave and taking some respite. Is it worse for health than working in the office?

57:10 Article about Deliveroo losing an unfair dismissal case. {reference 5} Foodora left the Australian market after losing a test case. Menulog are trialling hiring employees.

59:30 Is this an insight into what may happen in the future – will we be looking to pay people Australian wages no matter where they work

1:01:30 The gig economy is changing the social fabric in big ways. It isn’t like running a business as you are exchanging your time for money

1:03:15 Article: SMH bringing work closer to where people live {reference 6}

1:03:50 Half of all new jobs in NSW were created within two kilometres of Sydney’s CBD in the decade to 2018, but most new housing was built in western Sydney

1:09:00 Question for Lachy – If you started Yarno from scratch today, would you start in an office, or start remotely?

1:11:00 Question for Karen – Would you ever consider moving out of Sydney?

References

  1. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/regional-internal-migration-estimates-provisional/sep-2020#:~:text=Data%20downloads-,Key%20statistics,quarterly%20net%20loss%20on%20record.
  2. https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/wages-rose-06-march-quarter-2021#:~:text=The%20seasonally%20adjusted%20Wage%20Price,Bureau%20of%20Statistics%20(ABS).
  3. https://distributed.blog/2019/07/11/upwork-hr-engineering-distributed-company/
  4. https://theconversation.com/2021-is-the-year-australias-international-student-crisis-really-bites-153180#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20the%20ABS%20estimates,spent%20in%20the%20wider%20economy.
  5. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/deliveroo-loses-landmark-case-as-sacked-driver-ruled-an-employee-20210518-p57suc.html
  6. https://www.smh.com.au/national/you-re-not-just-a-robot-bringing-work-closer-to-where-people-live-20210516-p57scz.html

Ellie Doyle

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