With the combination of Covid-19 (even in a post-vaccine world) and the rise in technology, I’m more confident than ever that remote work is here to stay, at least to some degree. In fact, the ‘working from home’ trend actually precedes the days of Covid-19— since 2010, there has been a 400% increase in employees who work remotely at least once a week. The pandemic has merely accelerated us in the same direction we were already going.
This rise of remote work has created many new opportunities for workers who are no longer stifled by geographic locations. The opportunity to work from home will give people an opportunity to live wherever they please— and for those who previously lived in big cities like New York, maybe this will mean a little more space and a better cost of living.
With that being said, here are 7 of the best cities for remote workers:
- Portland, Maine
In 2020, Portland, Maine ranked number four best place to live in the country, and also made it in the U.S. News top 10. And, it’s no wonder why: the city has nature, a happening restaurant scene, and for the beer-lovers, the most craft breweries per capita in the country.
Portland’s small population of 70,000 misleads people into thinking that it’s a slow-pace vacation town, with little room for professional aspiration— but in the last few years, Portland has actually become one of the tech and startup hubs of the country.
Maine also provides exciting opportunities for recent graduates, like the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit, which offers student loan reimbursement for anyone who lives and works in Maine and graduated with a bachelor’s or associates’ degree from any school in the United States after 2015.
Together, all of these qualities make Portland, Maine one of the best cities to work remotely.
- Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado has been recognized as both the city with the highest quality of life and as the seventh safest city in the country. The former, I think, has to do with Boulder’s scenery— just imagine grabbing your morning coffee and seeing a beautiful mountain range in the distance. Hard not to feel some joy, right?
There’s more reasons that even two years prior to Covid-19, Colorado had the highest concentration of remote workers in the U.S. One of them might have to do with where Zoom is located. To paint the picture, the company experienced 367% year-over-year growth in 2020. And what’s interesting as it pertains to those who are considering becoming Boulder residents is that the company has an office in neighboring Denver.
Boulder-based tech company Tectonic, which creates software based tech apprenticeships, also saw a growth of 30% from 2019 to 2020. This makes Boulder a rising tech hub of the world, and as a result, one of the best cities to work from home. If you’re looking for skiing, hiking, or even escaping to hot springs, Boulder is the place to do it.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is an amazing place to live, especially if you’re a young professional and interested in remote work. No joke: Tulsa Remote is a program that offers incentives including a grant of up to $10,000 which covers relocation expenses and leaves monthly stipends to cover your housing and living. Talk about a reason to move somewhere!
Aside from this once-in-a-blue-moon benefit, Tulsa is also a very liveable and pleasant city. Around 400,000 people and a nice climate, there are 134 parks and a fantastic arts scene and musical history. Not to mention, if you like BBQ, Tulsa is known for having the best of this cuisine.
- Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont is another spot that has a lot of tangible things to offer remote workers. Two years ago, the state offered two types of grants for remote workers and workers who relocated to the state: the Remote Worker Grant and the New Work Relocation Grant. The incentive funded people to cover their relocation and some living expenses.
Plus, Burlington, Vermont is a very lively city. You can take a walk down Church Street or stop at one of the great restaurants the city has to offer. Just outside of Burlington, you can land upon the Shelburne Museum, or you can take advantage of some of the skiing spots in the country.
- Tucson, Arizona
If you find the winter in Vermont to be a little intimidating, you may want to consider a place totally different, like Tucson, Arizona. One of the things that makes Tucson one of the most liveable cities in the U.S. is that the cost of living is 8% below the national average.
Tucson may be a great choice for anyone, but this is especially true for freelancers and remote workers. Tucson offers a number of co-working spaces for those who are working remotely, but still want a space where they can connect with other people— or just a break from the same living room.
If you’re a creative, then Tucson may also be a great fit for you. It has a rich arts scene centered around the Tucson Warehouse Arts District. If you don’t have a car— or if you don’t like relying on that kind of transportation— then that’s another pro. Tucson ranks among the most bikeable cities in America.
There is so much beauty to Tucson, you may have to see for yourself!
- Topeka, Kansas
A lot of people know that the pandemic had people leaving cramped apartments in major cities and trading for wide, open spaces. Well, let’s just say if that’s something that sounds appealing, then Topeka might be the place for you.
Not to mention, Topeka offers up to $15,000 for workers who relocate. Go ahead, read that again. $15,000. The grant includes up to $15,000 for workers who will be on-site working in Topeka and purchase a home, and $10,000 to those who are renting. Grants of $10,000 or $5,000 are available to home-buyers or renters who are living in Topeka but working remotely.
- Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio is also a great place for remote workers, ranked the number one “Remote-Ready” by Livability and once ranked number five best city by Numbeo. A lot of things contribute to why Columbus is regarded so great to so many people: the cost of living, the unique neighborhoods, the forward-thinking policies, public park space, museums, sports culture, and much more.
If 2022 is the year for you to make a big change, then consider this list of cities for more cost-friendly and spacious alternatives to the metropolises that usually lure people in with professional opportunity.