Working remotely is more common than you might think. 22% of people in the United States do a significant amount of their work remotely instead of going into an office every day and although you might think that being able to sit on a couch all day would prevent people from getting things done, the opposite seems to be true; 91% of remote workers feel that they are more productive when they are working from home, and remote workers tend to be happier with their occupations than those who commute to work.
This makes sense to me. Working remotely provides a level of flexibility that you just can’t attain by going into an official office and it can be a lot easier to get things done when you don’t have a boss standing over your shoulder, micromanaging your every move.
Throughout my time in college, I have held several remote internships–some during the school year and others during the summer–and all have them have been immensely rewarding. Remote internships have allowed me to foster connections in the same way that traditional internships do and have the added advantages of networking with people outside of my geographic area and saving money that would’ve been used to commute.
Just because you work remotely, though, doesn’t mean that where you live doesn’t matter. Some places are more conducive to this lifestyle than others. With that in mind, here are 10 cities in which remote employees can thrive, listed in alphabetical order for your convenience.
1. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta has one of the most active networks of remote workers in the entire country according to Indeed so you won’t be alone in your desire to work from home. Being in a city with so many other people in a similar situation can lead to more connections and support as you build upon your professional connections. The city itself is pretty awesome as well; the plethora of activities and restaurants coupled with a low cost of living make it one of the most desirable places to live for recent college graduates.
2. Austin, Texas
Millennials gravitate towards this southern city for many reasons: it’s a major hub for technology and business, there are restaurants galore, and it has an awesome music scene. Austin has been ranked one of the top places in the country to start a career and one of the best U.S. cities to live in overall based on affordability, safety, and quality of life.
3. Buffalo, New York
There are a substantial number of remote workers in Buffalo and if you decide to become one of them, be sure to take advantage of Dig at Innovation Center Buffalo, a multi-use space where creativity and collaboration are encouraged. It’s a fun city to explore in the summer and you’ll be thankful that you can work next to your fireplace, snuggled up under a blanket on the couch during the below-freezing winter.
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is an economic hotspot for banking and a cultural hotspot for recent college graduates. It’s full of lush green areas for those who enjoy the outdoors, plenty of cultural festivals, and remains relatively affordable. The moderate climate means that it never gets unbearably hot or cold, so grab your laptop and sit outside instead of spending your days cramped in an office!
5. Dallas, Texas
Dallas is listed as a top place for telecommuters to live on NomadList. Within the city are nearly 20 coworking spaces and more than 30 coffee shops where you can grab your morning cup and get down to business. If you’re still hunting for a job, this may be the place to go–major companies, like AT&T and Kimberly-Clark, often hire telecommuters from the area.
6. Kansas City, Missouri
The Missouri side of Kansas City makes this list for several reasons. As far as productivity, Google Fiber offers high-speed internet to everyone for free, which is pretty amazing; this will help you save WiFi and save time since you won’t have to go on a hunt for internet service. It’s also a cool place to live, with an urban vibe in a Midwest location, an art scene, and food trucks galore.
7. Portland, Oregon
Oregon, in general, has a high proportion of remote workers and Portland specifically is a great place to be if you’re one of them. With over 500 public workspaces and a culture that is simultaneously arsty and laidback, this might just be the place you’re looking for.
8. Raleigh, North Carolina
One of the main draws of Raleigh as a place to kick off your career is that it falls right in the middle of North Carolina’s “Research Triangle.” That is, the space between three renowned universities that are doing big things: University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. This means that there are plenty of creative people to collaborate with and driven people to keep you in check, even if you work remotely.
9. Seattle, Washington
Though it’s a little more expensive than some of the other options on this list, Seattle is still a great choice for remote workers because of the extensive number of remote-friendly technology companies that are associated with it, including Amazon. When you’re not working, it’s easy to stay active with kayaking, hiking, skiing, and sailing, all of which are available in the area.
10. St. Petersburg, Florida
If it’s not your dream to be able to work from the beach… It’s time to reevaluate your dreams. St. Petersburg is less expensive than other cities in Florida, but still has all of the benefits. It’s also within close proximity to the Tampa Airport just in case you need a weekend away from your work.