The Best Places to Live for Remote Work
The 2020 pandemic will be remembered for a lot of things, including a significant shift in where people are moving, changes in companies’ remote work policies, and in the way Americans work. In response to the crisis, offices in many places shut down en masse. Millions of people started working from home, replacing water cooler chats and in-person meetings with online tools like Slack and Zoom.
And that probably won’t change. In anything, remote work is picking up speed. In 2021, many workers will continue to work away from the office — even after the pandemic is over. As the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Some companies … are moving to make remote work the new normal.”
As living near the workplace becomes a necessity for fewer people, here are some the best places to find new digs (home office included).
Median home price: $465,000
Median rental cost: $1,900 per month
One of the most dynamic cities in Texas, Austin is a cultural hotbed of activity after work hours — or at least it will be once again after the pandemic is under control. The city is home to the Austin City Limits music festival and is known for its exciting live music scene.
There’s also a vibrant foodie scene, beautiful weather year-round, boating, and hiking. Perhaps best of all, the city is friendly to remote workers: 8% of Austin’s population is already working remotely, and that number is expected to almost double in the coming years, according to news station KXAN.
Median home price: $485,000
Median rental cost: $2,090 per month
Portland as a city is particularly friendly to remote workers. The Oregonian notes that among the top 50 metros, Portland has the fourth-highest population of remote workers by percentage. The city is also considering building a citywide, open-access fiber-optic internet network. However, you will need a high tolerance for rain — the city gets about 40 inches of rain annually.
But the city is also green and vibrant with a huge number of outdoor activities (and no sales tax). And if you watch the TV show “Portlandia,” you already know the city’s unofficial motto: “Keep Portland Weird.”
Median home cost: $191,000
Median rental cost: $1,150 per month
Savannah is a gorgeous example of southern living, chock-full of history with its trolley tour that takes you through many of the city’s most historic locations and classic 17th century architecture. But there’s also beach access and the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival in Forsyth Park.
Moving to Savannah is made easier by the $2,000 Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive, which pays qualified remote workers to move to the city.
Median home cost: $328,000
Median rental cost: $1,030 per month
The tundra of the north might not hold the same reputation for relaxation as a tropical beach, but Alaska is a beautiful state that rewards the adventurous and outdoorsy with some of the best hunting and fishing in the country. You’ll experience long summer days (19 hours of daylight in Anchorage, for example) with surprisingly pleasant temperatures that range from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. As a bonus, the Northern Lights are visible for months at a time.
Alaska already has no state income or sales tax, but the state goes a step further — residents also get a yearly payment from the state’s Permanent Fund. Don’t think that because it’s so far north, the city isn’t connected; Alaska Business Magazine notes that Anchorage is in the process of deploying its own 5G network, which is more than a lot of cities in the Lower 48 can claim.
Median home cost: $195,000
Median rental cost: $746 per month
Tulsa might have slightly more rainfall than average in the U.S., but the city offers year-round sunshine. It’s a magnet for art and music lovers, offering attractions like the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, the Woody Guthrie Center, and the Gilcrease Museum, which specializes in North American art.
In addition, downtown is packed with classic Art Deco architecture. The art might look even better alongside a cash incentive: Tulsa Remote is offering $10,000 cash, free office space, and other benefits to become a Tulsa resident.
Median home cost: $45,000
Median rental cost: $418 per month
If you prefer a more rural lifestyle, a remote work arrangement is an opportunity to return to your roots. Lincoln is a quiet town (population: about 1,200 residents) sitting just a few hours from big-city entertainment in Wichita or Kansas City.
And the city will pay you to move there in the form of a free residential lot (up to 35,000 square feet) to build your home. The lots are available in a residential development and have all the connections you need, such as street, water, and electricity.
Working and collaborating remotely doesn’t mean losing out on real-life experiences — often, it can mean swapping them out for even more exciting ones. Planning to relocate? Check out our Epic Moving Checklist to help you get organized.