With better access to technology and fast broadband internet, some Aussies now prefer to live in country and coastal towns than in bigger cities. An estimated 4% choose to work from home, spend more time on a farm or be with their family according to a new research commissioned by the National Broadband Network.
The ability to work from home or remotely has been a big help to a growing number of people troubled by long commute time and high cost of living in the metro areas. They now prefer to move to “lifestyle towns,” — places still near capital cities but with more affordable homes and lower cost of living. The advent of high-speed Internet from the nbn has enabled residents to better work from home, minimise their commute, and increase their quality of life.
Australia’s leading social commentator and demographer Bernard Salt said an “e-change movement” is underway across the country, allowing Australians to move beyond the metropolis but commute to the city.
In his report entitled “Super Connected Lifestyle Locations”, he identified more than 600 “lifestyle towns” based on census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Salt noted that a “quiet lifestyle revolution” is on the rise in suburban Australia.
The ability to work remotely from home is changing the Australian work-life balance. He predicts this cultural shift will lead to the rise of new silicon suburbs in regional hubs as a result of better access to fast broadband and drive a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation outside the city capitals.
Some of the key findings in the Super Connected Lifestyle Locations Report include the following:
Access to fast and reliable broadband is key to the age of “e-change”.
Having a reliable Internet connection is most important in providing access to health services (76%), being able to remain close to friends (68%), enabling access to leisure activities (67%), and having employment opportunities (65%).
Lower commute time improves lifestyle satisfaction.
Sixteen percent of Australians are unhappy with their lifestyle due to long commute times, while those who have made a sea-change or favoured the rural coastal communities say that they are happier with their work-life balance (69%) than those who have not made the move (58%). About 400,000 Australians have cut their commuting costs by working from home. The report positively predicts this figure to grow to more than a million within the decade.
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