With attitudes and policies around remote work changing rapidly, workers across the country are beginning to ask themselves an exciting question: If I could work from home forever, where would I live?
Among workers with jobs that can be done remotely, only 20 percent worked from home all or most of the time before the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Now that number is 71 percent. Of those, more than half reported that they’d like to continue working at home even after a return to the office is possible. Employers are listening, and many major companies have already relaxed their in-office requirements.
A recent study by WalletHub latched onto the trend by ranking all 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to how suitable they are for remote work. Two categories were considered: The first was specific to the work environment — things valuable to employers, including the share of people in each location already working remotely before the pandemic, access to a high-speed internet connection, and cybersecurity risks.
The second considered the living environment and things that workers might value more, like the cost of electricity and internet (including the availability of low-cost plans); the average size of homes and lots; the median amount of household space per occupant; the share of detached housing; and a final after-work bonus, the share of homes with a swimming pool. The “work” and “living” categories were scored individually and then combined to arrive at a final ranking.
Colorado topped the list for “work,” but finished 47th for “living,” which dragged it down to 12th place overall. Georgia came in 20th for “work” and first for “living,” good enough for third place. Of course, every worker will value these metrics differently and have personal deal breakers. So while imperfect, WalletHub’s rankings are still a good starting point for those whose jobs allow home to be anywhere.
This week’s chart shows WalletHub’s 10 best and 10 worst places to work remotely in the U.S., and where each place ranked in the two categories.