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Remote working motivates almost 50% to plan a tree change


Two-thirds of employees would look for another job if their boss demanded they return to the office full-time, says HR firm ADP.

By Josh Needs 12 minute read

Almost half of all employees either want to relocate within Australia or are already in the process of doing so according to a survey by payroll and services company ADP, as remote work expands the possibility of a sea or tree change. 

Managing director ANZ of ADP Kylie Baullo said as the pandemic forced workers away from the office they had become comfortable with the possibility of living away from their employer’s base.

“The last few years have given some employees the confidence that remote work is viable for them,” said Ms Baullo. 


“This has opened up a plethora of opportunities to relocate and pursue a better quality of life, affordable housing and new job opportunities.” 

“We are seeing an increased need for employers to provide a better work-life balance to retain and attract top talent.” 

ADP’s survey ‘People at Work: A Global Workforce View’ found 45 per cent of Australian respondents wanted to relocate within the country due to the flexibility remote working gave them, while 40 per cent were planning a sea change abroad.

The survey found employees in the Asia-Pacific region had embraced remote working to the extent almost two-thirds would consider changing jobs if they were forced to return to the workplace full time. Younger workers were most resistant with 71 per cent of 18–24 year-olds indicating they would look elsewhere. 

Ms Baullo said employers should view employees working remotely as an advantage rather than a hindrance.

“This dispersed workforce creates a win-win for employees and employers,” said Ms Baullo. “The high cost of living in major cities has made rural and regional areas more appealing, especially to younger workers.” 

“Employers can access a greater talent pool in opening up new geographies to source grass-roots talent from.” 

“With flexible working here to stay, employers should instead look to embrace and plan for a dispersed workforce.” 

Almost a quarter of Australians said location flexibility was an important factor in a job although only 41 per cent said they would be willing to take a pay cut to achieve it. 

Compared with other nations, Australians were the least likely to ask for a pay rise even if they felt it was deserved, at 61 per cent. 

The survey also found that workers in the Asia-Pacific gave away the most free time to their bosses at an average of 8.9 unpaid hours of work a week, against 8.3 in North America, 7.5 in Europe and 6.2 in Latin America. 

Almost 33,000 workers across 17 countries were surveyed as part of the research with 7,644 of the respondents based in the Asia-Pacific region, from Australia, China, India and Singapore. 


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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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