Home stretch: 1 in 3 Aussies would move if they could work from anywhere

As millions of Australian workers stretch into their fourth month of working-from-home, many have relocation on their minds, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 678 Australian workers revealed that 33 per cent – or 4.3 million adults – would move homes if their employer announced that workers no longer needed to be onsite.

Sarah Megginson, home loans expert at Finder, said millions of Australians were keen to make their out-of-office status permanent.

“Where people live has typically determined their place of employment, but that’s changing,” Ms Megginson said.

“Many Aussies are well adjusted to their new work-from-home routine and are allowing themselves to think outside-the-box now that remote working is mainstream.

“The once longed for ‘tree-change’ and ‘sea-change’ is becoming a reality for those who are reevaluating where they want to call home,” Ms Megginson said.

The research shows almost one in four Australians (23 per cent) would move somewhere else within Australia if they were allowed to work remotely forever. One in 10 (10 per cent) would move overseas.

New South Wales would see the largest exodus if permanent remote working became available, with a staggering 40 per cent of residents admitting they would move. Those in NSW were followed closely by Victorians at 37 per cent.

“Not surprisingly, the two states hit hardest by lockdowns are the ones questioning where they call home,” Ms Megginson said.

“Plenty of workers are embracing the extra hours gained with the absence of commuting to work, and wondering what else they can do with that valuable time.

“The silver lining to this phenomenon is that regional areas are generally more affordable, so people could be saving money on mortgages and rent at the same time as getting a better work/life balance.”

Finder’s research shows almost half of Australians wouldn’t choose to move if their employer didn’t insist on a return to work, while 14 per cent say they can’t perform their job at home.

A further eight per cent of people report that they are already allowed to work from anywhere.

Figures show Australia’s regional areas have had their largest influx of people since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started measuring internal migration in 2001.

Source: Finder survey of 678 workers in September 2021

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