News & Insights

Making a tree-change in your business operations could help grow your business

Published 28 June 2021

A side effect of the global pandemic is that businesses and their employees are now aware that the central office model with everyone on site isn’t the only way to work, says Gallagher Head of Regional Branches, Dubbo-based Kylie Hull, in the Gallagher H1 2021 Business Insurance and Risk Market Update. This has revealed a number of business opportunities to rethink how working works.

Many employees discovered that they gained valuable time in their work-life balance without the requirement to commute to a central office, and this gave them the freedom to handle their own hours and workload, and the flexibility to manage their family obligations around this.

Along with this paradigm shift more people were already choosing to move from city centres to regional areas. In the quarter to December 2019, the net population of capital cities decreased by 3,847 according to figures from the ABS. In the quarter to December 2020 that figure was 10,625. In the September 2020 quarter, 11,000 people relocated from capital cities – the highest figure on record.

The trend is picking up pace and with this comes opportunities.

  • With more and more people moving out of Australia’s cities the shift presents opportunities for businesses.
  • Regional centres for back office operations could cut costs and open up a new talent pool.
  • The ability to work from regional Australia could also be a significant employee benefit.


Benefits of regional relocation for businesses

Reduced rents, access to amenities, safety and a cleaner environment are just some of the reasons that many people have elected to relocate away from the city. These same principals apply to businesses.

Some of the advantages that can be achieved include

  • risk-mitigation: the COVID virus has significantly affected cities – notably Melbourne – more than regional Australia, where apart from a couple of months at the beginning of the pandemic businesses have barely been affected
  • operational savings: many back end functions can be economically transferred to a regional hub. Compare the expensive city rates to what you’ll pay in a regional location
  • financial incentives: there’s huge investment going into regional Australia at present, and many incentives for businesses to establish a regional presence
  • tapping existing business networks: there’s a diverse network of businesses throughout regional Australia, from small creative companies to large agricultural and agtech operations
  • reduced staff turnover: the fluid population in cities can also result in less stability and staff retention
  • attracting talent: some people are seeking a cheaper, more relaxed life with greater mental health benefits. The best people will enjoy the choice of working from wherever they want
  • leveraging local knowledge: Regional Australia is home to about a third of the country’s population with valuable skills and understanding of the business environment, and who are accustomed to working remotely.

Of course, a city-centre presence is always going to be valuable for many organisations, particularly for sales, but diversifying the locations of your physical presence is a smart move in terms of diversifying risk and accessing other advantages.

To read the full article and for more insights from our experts on insurance market  conditions and risks, download the Gallagher H1 2021 Business Insurance and Risk Market Update.

Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and benefits consulting services for clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance and/or risk management perspective.
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