The workplace has witnessed radical evolution over the past two decades, with businesses – large and small – forced to adapt to the changing times and adopt the trends of the day either for their own survival, the productivity and wellbeing of their employees, or in a bid to keep up with the times and appear au courant.
Advancements in technology, powered by a faster and now ubiquitous Internet, has undoubtedly been the biggest disruptor of them all.
One of the trends that have emerged and become popular over the last several years has been the gig economy which relies on digital technologies to connect independent workers with businesses.
In addition to that, the history-changing year that was 2020 which affected every person and organization globally accelerated another trend that was already catching on: remote work.
These two types of digital economies are the realities of the new world of work.
Even after life slowly begins to return to normal following the mass roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations the world over, it’s beginning to become clear that we’re on the brink of another disruption. We’re already ushering a hybrid model that will see some employees return to the office and others continue to work from home for good.
So, as remote work becomes the new norm, it’s only right that we try to find the answers to the question of which cities make for the best setting for remote workers.
If you’re contemplating a move from your current city, this is research you might want to do first before you proceed to hire long distance movers and pull up stakes from your current city/state.
All cities are not equal. Some – by default and design – are better suited for remote jobs than others.
Below, we share the top 7 best cities in the US to work remotely.
The Texas capital is a hotbed for innovation, technology and startups and ranks highly on almost every ‘Best’ list:
- Top 4 best large cities to start a business
- Best city to live in America (for three years in a row up until 2019) based on quality of life, job prospects and affordability
- Fastest growing large city in the US, among a host of other accolades
With 8.2 percent of its residents working as remote workers, Austin is also one of the cities with the highest concentration of remote workers.
There’s no personal income tax and it boasts one of the highest co-working spaces per capita in the nation.
Raleigh, North Carolina
The capital of North Carolina was ranked 11th on a list of 50 best American cities for remote workers by FlexJobs.
It has a huge contingent of remote workers (7 percent), housing is affordable, and cost of living is low.
Internet speeds are high and there are enough co-working spaces to cater to the huge remote workforce.
Ranked No.1 Best Place to Live in America in 2020/21 and scooping top spot for quality of life, Boulder – nestled 5,000 feet above sea level – at one point had the highest number of remote workers in the country at 7.9 percent.
There’s a large contingent of companies in and around Boulder that are big on remote staff, including Tectonic, as well as Zoom in neighboring Denver which in 2020 increased its remote workforce by a whopping 42%.
In 2019 alone, 14.9% of job listings in this picturesque city of Colorado were remote positions, according to FlexJobs.
Portland has for years ranked as one of the best places to live in America.
The city of less than 70,000 has a lot going on for it. The livability aspect aside, Portland is becoming something of a tech and startup mecca and offers a great climate for remote workers, with many incentives to enjoy.
What’s more, Portland has the highest number of craft breweries per capita in the country, so there’s also that!
With a cost of living 8 percent below the national average, Tucson was also ranked among the Top 10 Remote-Ready US Cities in 2021 by Livability.
That speaks for itself.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids has an affordable cost of living without compromising on quality of life.
With a population of approximately 200,000, this western city of Michigan offers plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers, with the choice of eight distinct neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own vibe and character.
Ranked the eighth-best city to live in the world in 2021 by Numbeo, Ohio’s capital – which is also the largest city in the state despite Cleveland and Cincinnati grabbing the headlines – also came out tops on that report by Livability ranking the most remote-ready cities in the United States in 2021.
Cost of living is low (14.5% below the national average), housing is affordable, there are million-and-one things to do, it’s big on sports and parks, and of course, it has a lot of forward-thinking policies that favor both remote workers and commuters.