Exploring the attraction of the reverse commute


Every working day 372,000 Sydneysiders commute to the CBD either on public transport or in their car from outer Sydney residencies. While significant there is a growing trend in the reverse commute with those living close to the city preferring to commute out of the city for their work.

We speak to Darran Butcher, Director of our Parramatta office, to find out more about the reverse commute trend that is gathering momentum. 


Why do you think the idea of a reverse commute is attracting candidates to areas away from the CBD? 

The current and planned investment in urban renewal projects coupled with cheaper rents and minimal transport congestion compared to other areas of the city are just some of the benefits that are luring companies and candidates to the Parramatta region. 

Have you seen a shift in client’s attitudes in accessing talent by broadening a talent search which is not only dedicated to their immediate geographic market? 

Many of our clients are open to the idea of casting the net wider in order to get the best talent for their role. However, that’s not to say that they don’t also look to the local market too. I think companies have witnessed a positive shift in being able to retain local technical talent in the area and also attracting talent from the wider market.  One of our clients, F4F, has experienced this first hand. In the last three years specifically, they’ve seen that not only are locals more interested in staying the area, but technical professionals from all over greater Sydney have more interest in working in the North West area. Public sector investment in infrastructure in recent years, along with better transport and relatively free congestion are included in the main drivers contributing to this. 

Do you think there has also been an impact on the candidate community as well? 

We’ve definitely seen that candidates are more willing to move for roles if they offer the right remuneration and culture.

The work life balance created by shorter commuting times has been an influential factor in making the decision to move away from CBD hubs. 

Do you expect to see the reverse commute trend continue? 

With more and more sectors including academia, banking, logistics, transport and government jobs flooding into the Parramatta region we expect the reverse commute trend to continue and even accelerate in the coming years. 


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