Is working from anywhere driving a new sea/tree change?

‘Working from anywhere’ and regional centres

Restrictions necessitated by COVID-19 forced a reset of well-worn habits in many of our working lives: namely changes to how and where we work. For knowledge workers, this has meant a widespread shift to working from home.

We’ve observed some interesting short-term trends to emerge from this – including widespread reports of young people relocating from the inner city to regional centres. But is this a new phenomenon, and what could it mean for the future of the regions?

Astrolabe Group consultant Charlie Gillon shared his thoughts in the December 2020 issue of the Planning Institute of Australia’s New Planner journal.

Check out the full article below:

Five recommendations for regional centres

While it’s too early to tell whether there will be a permanent shift of mobile millennials to the regions, the article shares five recommendations for how regional centres can support the shift and capture the benefits:

  • Create the conditions to work from anywhere: digital connectivity and a reliable NBN service is key; so is making sure there are local places to meet and collaborate.
  • Monitor housing supply and stock: housing supply will need to respond to new conditions and keep pace with new kinds of interest.
  • Place activation: public space is firmly on the public agenda, and the time is now for councils to progress place activation of existing spaces and streetscapes – supporting local, vibrant centres that attract young people.
  • Collection of real-time/near-time data: monitor early indicators of internal migration trends – e.g. real estate data, water usage, transport data, and administrative data with change of address information.
  • Advocacy: with the regions in the spotlight, use the opportunity to define and broadcast local challenges and opportunities that can be improved through State and Federal partnering and collaborating.

This article originally appeared in New Planner – the journal of the New South Wales planning profession – published by the Planning Institute of Australia. For more information, please visit: