Remote Workplaces

  • Leigh-ann OnnisEmail author
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


Key Messages
  • The ‘remote workplace’ is the ‘space’ in which there is the most opportunity for managers to influence decision-making about turnover and retention.

  • If health professionals make decisions about whether to remain or leave based on their experience in the ‘remote workplace’ it follows that the manager, the most influential person in that workplace, will have a significant impact on turnover and retention.

  • The changing structure of contemporary workforces and the mobility of individual employees, create an opportunity for managers to improve retention through creative workplace solutions.

  • In a competitive labour market, management practices may be the competitive advantage needed to improve retention, particularly in remote regions where demand exceeds supply.


  1. Alasia A, Bédard F, Bélanger J, Guimond E, Penney C (2017) Measuring remoteness and accessibility—a set of indices for Canadian communities, Catalogue no. 18-001-XGoogle Scholar
  2. Battye KM, McTaggart K (2003) Development of a model for sustainable delivery of outreach allied health services to remote north-west Queensland, Australia. Rural and Remote Health 3:194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beer M, Spector B, Lawrence PR, Mills DQ, Walton RE (1984) Managing human assets. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Belaid L, Dagenais C, Moha M, Ridde V (2017) Understanding the factors affecting the attraction and retention of health professionals in rural and remote areas: a mixed-method study in Niger. Hum Resour Health 15(1):60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bent A (1999) Allied health in Central Australia: challenges and rewards in remote area practice. Aust J Physiother 45(3):203–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birks M, Mills J, Francis K, Coyle M, Davis J, Jones J (2010) Models of health service delivery in remote or isolated areas of Queensland: a multiple case study. Aust J Adv Nurs 28(1):25–34Google Scholar
  7. Buckingham M, Coffman C (1999) First, break all the rules. What the worlds greatest managers do differently. Simon and Schuster, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. Cameron P, Este C, Worthington C (2012) Professional, personal and community: 3 domains of physician retention in rural communities. Can J Rural Med 17(2):47–55Google Scholar
  9. Cutchin MP (1997) Community and self: concepts for rural physician integration and retention. Soc Sci Med 44(11):1661–1674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devine S (2006) Perceptions of occupational therapists practising in rural Australia: a graduate perspective. Aust Occup Ther J 53(3):205–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fisher KR, Fraser JD (2010) Rural health career pathways: research themes in recruitment and retention. Aust Health Rev 34(3):292–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gardiner M, Sexton R, Durbridge M, Garrard K (2005) The role of psychological well-being in retaining rural general practitioners. Aust J Rural Health 13(3):149–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenwood G, Cheers B (2002) Doctors and nurses in outback Australia: living with bush initiatives. Rural Remote Health 2:98Google Scholar
  14. Hays R, Wynd S, Veitch C, Crossland L (2003) Getting the balance right? GPs who chose to stay in rural practice. Aust J Rural Health 11(4):193–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hegney D, McCarthy A, Rogers-Clark C, Gorman D (2002a) Retaining rural and remote area nurses. The Queensland, Australia experience. J Nurs Adm 32(3):128–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hegney D, McCarthy A, Rogers-Clark C, Gorman D (2002b) Why nurses are attracted to rural and remote practice. Aust J Rural Health 10(3):178–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hegney D, McCarthy A, Rogers-Clark C, Gorman D (2002c) Why nurses are Resigning from rural and remote Queensland health facilities. Collegian 9(2):33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hudson S, Inkson K (2006) Volunteer overseas development workers: the hero’s adventure and personal transformation. Career Dev Int 11(4):304–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Humphreys JS, Jones MP, Jones JA, Mara PR (2002) Workforce retention in rural and remote Australia: determining the factors that influence length of practice. Med J Aust 176(10):472–476Google Scholar
  20. Jackson D, Clare J, Mannix J (2002) Who would want to be a nurse? Violence in the workplace—a factor in recruitment and retention. J Nurs Manag 10(1):13–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kabene SM, Orchard C, Howard JM, Soriano MA, Leduc R (2006) The importance of human resources management in health care: a global context. Hum Resour Health 4(20)Google Scholar
  22. Kelly K (2000) Improving quality of life of remote area nurses. Collegian 7(4)Google Scholar
  23. Kent-Wilkinson A, Starr L, Dumanski S, Fleck J, LeFebvre A, Child A (2010) International nursing student exchange: rural and remote clinical experiences in Australia. J Agromedicine 15(1):58–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Knights JA, Kennedy BJ (2005) Psychological contract violation: impacts on job satisfaction and organizational commitment among Australian senior public servants. Appl HRM Res 10(2):57–72Google Scholar
  25. Kruger E, Tennant M (2005) Oral health workforce in rural and remote Western Australia: practice perceptions. Aust J Rural Health 13:321–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lenthall S, Wakerman J, Opie T, Dollard M, Dunn S, Knight S, MacLeod M, Watson C (2009) What stresses remote area nurses? Current knowledge and future action. Aust J Rural Health 17(4):208–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lenthall S, Wakerman J, Opie T, Dunn S, MacLeod M, Dollard M, Rickard G, Knight S (2011) Nursing workforce in very remote Australia, characteristics and key issues. Aust J Rural Health 19(1):32–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lippel K, Johnstone R, Baril-Gingras G (2017) Regulation, change and the work environment. Relations Industrielles/Ind Relat 72(1):3–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McGrail MR, Humphreys JS (2015) Geographical mobility of general practitioners in rural Australia. Med J Aust 203(2):92–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McGrail MR, Humphreys JS, Joyce C, Scott A, Kalb G (2011) Rural amenity and medical workforce shortage: is there a relationship? Geogr Res 49(2):192–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nadkarni S, Stening BW (1989) Human Resource management in remote communities. Asia Pac J Hum Resour 27(3):41–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Newhook J, Neis B, Jackson L, Roseman S, Romanow P, Vincent C (2011) Employment-related mobility and the health of workers, families, and communities: the Canadian context. Labour (Spring):121–156Google Scholar
  33. O’Toole K, Schoo AM (2010) Retention policies for allied health professionals in rural areas: a survey of private practitioners. Rural Remote Health 10:1331Google Scholar
  34. Onnis L, Pryce J (2016) Health professionals working in remote Australia: a review of the literature. Asia Pac J Hum Resour 54:32–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Opie T, Lenthall S, Wakerman J, Dollard M, MacLeod M, Knight S, Rickard G, Dunn Sandra (2011) Occupational stress in the Australian nursing workforce: a comparison between hospital based nurses and nurses working in very remote communities. Aust J Adv Nurs 28(4):36–43Google Scholar
  36. Paauwe J (2009) HRM and performance: achievements, methodological issues and prospects. J Manage Stud 46(1):129–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rosete D (2006) The impact of organisational values and performance management congruency on satisfaction and commitment. Asia Pac J Hum Resour 44(1):7–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Santhanam R, Hunter E, Wilkinson Y, Whiteford H, McEwan A (2006) Care, community, capacity: rethinking mental health services in remote indigenous settings. Aust J Prim Health 12(2):51–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sheller M, Urry J (2004) The mobilities paradigm. Environ Plan A 38:207–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. van der Heijden BIJM, van Dam K, Hasselhorn HM (2009) Intention to leave nursing: the importance of interpersonal work context, work-home interference, and job satisfaction beyond the effect of occupational commitment. Career Dev Int 14(7):616–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wakerman J, Humphreys JS, Wells R, Kuipers P, Jones JA, Entwistle P, Kinsman L (2009) Features of effective primary health care models in rural and remote Australia: a case-study analysis. Med J Aust 191(2):88–91Google Scholar
  42. World Health Organisation (WHO) (2010) Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. WHO Press, France. Accessed 5 Sept 2017

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Business, Law & GovernanceJames Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

Personalised recommendations