Join now
Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Australia Is a Great Place for Expats to Work

Expats love the environment, business culture, and employment prospects in Australia.

Australia ranks second worldwide in the Working Abroad Index, only beaten by Denmark (1st). Expats are especially happy with their Career Prospects (5th): 62% are satisfied with the local job market (vs. 47% globally), and 64% rate their personal career opportunities positively (vs. 58% globally).

When it comes to the Work & Leisure Subcategory, the country scores another fifth place. Expats in Australia work fewer hours per week than the global average (35.9 hours vs. 40.2 hours globally), which might explain why three in four (75%) are satisfied with their working hours (vs. 63% globally). Accordingly, 70% of expats are happy with their work-life balance, compared to 62% globally. “There is an emphasis on family and not career and there is a good understanding of juggling both,” says a Dutch expat.

A Rewarding Business Culture

Most expats (78%) feel that the business culture in Australia supports flexibility (vs. 60% globally), and according to 65%, it also encourages creativity and thinking outside the box (vs. 51% globally). What is more, the business culture also supports independent work and flat hierarchies (65% happy vs. 45% globally). Beyond that, 70% of expats feel paid fairly for their work, based on their industry, qualifications, and role (vs. 62% globally), and another 70% are happy with their job security (vs. 59% globally). Overall, 72% are satisfied with their job in general, compared to 64% globally.

A Great Environment for Expats

Another highlight for expats in Australia is the Environment & Climate Subcategory (6th). The vast majority of expats (94%) is happy with the natural environment, compared to 83% globally. Additionally, they also enjoy the urban environment (80% vs. 67% globally), as well as the climate and weather (79% vs. 62% globally). An expat from Russia says that the “weather, wildlife, and lack of pollution” are what she enjoys most about life in Australia. In fact, 85% rate the air quality positively, compared to 65% globally.

Expats also love the Leisure Options (9th) in Australia, and the country ranks first overall for the opportunities for recreational sports. Nearly nine in ten (88%) are happy with this factor (vs. 75% globally). “There are plenty of team sports for the children to play,” says an expat from South Africa.

An Easy Culture

When it comes to the Ease of Settling In Index (17th), Australia performs best in the Culture & Welcome Subcategory (15th). Expats find it easy to get used to the local culture (75% vs. 62% globally) and feel at home in Australia (65% vs. 62% globally). “It is a calm and relaxed environment here,” says an Iranian expat, while a British expat reports that “there are no problems here, it is an easy lifestyle”. It might help that 72% perceive the local residents as generally friendly (vs. 66% globally), and 65% of expats in Australia have a personal support network (vs. 59% globally).

Ups & Downs with Expat Essentials

Australia gets mixed results in the Expat Essentials Index (16th). It ranks ninth in the Admin Topics Subcategory. There, it performs best worldwide for the ease of opening a local bank account (1st) but ends up among the bottom 10 for the ease of getting a visa (46th). In fact, 41% of expats found it difficult to get a visa in order to move to Australia, compared to only 24% globally.

Digital Life (18th) is generally no problem in Australia. Expats are happy with the availability of administrative/government services online (74% vs. 61% globally), it is easy to pay without cash (92% vs. 84% globally), and they enjoy the unrestricted access to online services (89% vs. 82% globally). However, the subcategory also includes one lowlight: 16% of expats find it difficult to get high-speed internet access at home (vs. 11% globally).

Pricey Accommodation

The Housing Subcategory (41st) is Australia’s weak spot in the Expat Essentials Index. Only half the respondents (50%) say it is easy for expats to find housing (vs. 54% globally), and over three in five (61%) are unhappy with the affordability of housing (vs. 43% globally). In the Personal Finance Index, Australia only ranks 30th, with 44% of expats unhappy with the general cost of living (vs. 35% globally). Still, 71% feel that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life, about the same as the global average (72%).

Further Reading