88% of workers are planning to “work from anywhere”
The Australian state of Western Australia is targeting 31,000 UK and Irish workers, particularly key workers such as nurses, teachers, and police officers, to relocate Down Under for a more relaxed lifestyle and higher wages. Nurses in Western Australia typically earn over £49,000 per year, which is 58% more than the UK average of just over £30,000.
To attract UK and Irish workers, officials from Western Australia will attend job fairs across the UK to promote the benefits of moving abroad for a new career and a new life. The Western Australian government is confident that the appeal of higher wages, lower living costs, and a laid-back lifestyle will entice many UK and Irish workers.
The possibility of tens of thousands of workers leaving the UK for Perth could be alarming for HR directors who are already struggling to retain talent. However, companies can offer some of the benefits of working abroad without permanent relocation, such as offering “work from anywhere” flexibility to employees. A recent study conducted by IWG, the world’s largest flexible workspace operator, found that 88% of workers are planning to “work from anywhere” – UK or abroad. Over 50% of workers are planning to extend holidays this year to work abroad, with 67% agreeing that they can perform their job effectively abroad. 71% said that they would only consider a new job that gave them the flexibility to work from anywhere, at least some of the time.
Improved worklife balance was the most common benefit cited for working from anywhere (76%), followed by being able to spend more time with friends and family abroad (52%), saving money by travelling off-peak (47%), and being able to enjoy longer holidays (30%). Many office workers also want more financial support, as the cost-of-living crisis has had a drastic impact on the UK population.
The Western Australian officials believe that their pitch is unbeatable, with higher wages, lower living costs, and a laid-back lifestyle. Western Australia’s Police and Defence Industry Minister, Paul Papalia, was quoted as saying: “Our wages are higher, our cost of living is lower and our lifestyle is unbeatable.”
The Western Australian government’s proposal will pose challenges for UK companies, and HR departments will need to consider introducing “work from anywhere” flexibility and financial support to retain their talent. The current “war for talent” in the UK is well-documented, and tens of thousands of workers eyeing up a move abroad in search of higher pay and a more relaxed lifestyle could mean another battle for HR leaders.
Mark Dixon, IWG Founder and CEO commented: “For an increasing number of workers, the days of the daily commute are over, now that hybrid working offers the opportunity to work wherever we will be the most productive. And thanks to cloud technology, that can be anywhere in the world, provided there’s a high-quality internet connection available.
“So, it’s no wonder that more and more individuals are embracing the idea of combining work with travel, whether it’s for a few days tacked on to the end of a vacation, or a few months as a digital nomad.
“This trend is set to accelerate further, and we will continue to see more and more companies embracing WFA policies to improve employees’ work-life balance and increase their attractiveness as an employer.”