Brisbane L!VE: The sunshine state is a hub for remote roles

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 2 November 2022
Alison Costello, Jeremy Hooper, Kris Yule and Christine Gannon at L!VE

With a booming pitch market and the Olympics influencing media people to migrate to Brisbane, agency locals are convinced that clients will also move pitches up the coast.

On stage at AdNews’ Brisbane L!VE, OMD national head of digital Alison Costello said the rise of remote working allows her to operate her national-level role seamlessly in Brisbane as covid has broken down geographical barriers for businesses.

With such success, Costello encourages her agency to enforce flexibility at every level.

“When needing the right talent for the right reasons, I think most businesses are now open to the talent regardless of where their market is," she said.

“Equally, we have seen a lot of people move to Southeast Queensland, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast over the last few years to hold remote roles.

“We actually have an exciting announcement, that we have found someone who has been working remotely in Melbourne and we were able to offer them a role here.

“They said yes, I'd love start building a role and community in Brisbane. 

“I'm not supportive of 100% virtual by any stretch, I think we definitely need to come together for moments of inspiration and collaboration and that's us as humans needing that connection.

“But also extremely grateful that we now have the opportunity to deprioritize not being present in a market.”

PHD business director Jeremy Hooper is a shining example of the 73,000 media people who relocated to the Sunshine State last year. 

“During COVID I lived in a one bedroom apartment in Sydney with my partner, we paid a ridiculous amount for rent in the city,” he said.

“Basically during those two weeks the border opened in July, we moved up here and bought a house on the beach in the Sunshine Coast, living the dream. 

“I asked if I could work remotely, and PHD allowed that to happen, and I think the market has moved towards even more remote workers now.

“As the talent shortages have progressed everywhere, we've definitely cast our net wider at PHD to identify the right talent for the role and grow the agencies. 

“We've now got people working all over the country and Brisbane is the new hub for us.”

However as both employees and employers are wanting regular in-office times throughout the week, the completely remote working model is a ticking time bomb.

“Working remotely has gotten a bit trickier recently. It's kind of a difference of people getting more excited about going back into the office,” Hooper said.

“Initially there was a lot of push back from the team not wanting to go back into the office, especially when everything started getting back to normal. 

“But now everyone's getting excited for the office, so I fly down to Sydney a lot more frequently to be able to team and build that culture.”

CHEP managing partner Christine Gannon is certain that Brisbane in a matter of a few years will be a power in the national industry.

“World class talent are moving and migrating back to Queensland but working for Sydney and Melbourne agencies because it is the best place to live,” she said. 

“Brisbane is in this unique moment with the rise of remote work and the 2032 Olympics combined to create this really special opportunity that is ours for the taking.

“It’s just a matter of time before we'll see those ambitious clients who brought their work down to Sydney and Melbourne agencies return to Brisbane.

“There's such great talent in the Brisbane market that I think goes unrecognised, but I’m really excited to see what the next couple of years brings as we’re already starting to get that momentum churning.”

#L!VE Brisbane is powered by supporting partners The Trade Desk, LiSTNR, Ryvalmedia, Resolution Digital, Quantcast, News Corp QLD, and Boomtown. And associate partners, MiQ and Amobee. And co-curators, BADC, BAA and Wrappt. 

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