These 3 States Have the Most People Working From Home
Now that many people have had the opportunity to work remotely post-pandemic, they have noticed more benefits than they thought were possible. And those perks extended well beyond fighting morning traffic.
Many introverted workers found renewed energy throughout the day as they discovered that schmoozing with colleagues was more draining than initially credited. Additionally, working parents caught between daycare centers and jobs suddenly saw more family time and happier home lives. Across the board, almost all workers claimed they were better rested, improving their health in far-reaching and surprising ways.
Conversely, businesses were amazed that productivity improved during the transition to remote work, according to a very well-cited study in 2015. Nevertheless, old habits die hard, and many organizations opted to return to the office as soon as the option became available. A recent survey reported 90 percent of companies stating they’ll fully return by 2024.
For many, this looks less and less appealing. For one, Americans are feeling the squeeze on their wallets as inflation has hit cost of living essentials. And after a few months of working from home, the savings add up.
According to Flex Jobs, the average person can save up to $6,000 working at home half the time in a hybrid role and up to $12,000 per year by working remotely full-time over the course of a year. Which, for many is basically a pay raise.
For those with the ability to mitigate childcare costs with their flexible employment, it can save up to $10,000 a year.
Additionally, many workers realized they’re much happier at home. Forbes found employees increased their work contentment by 20 percent with the transition.
Consequently, telecommuting has been hard to give up and come back in the office. So, rather than return, many workers are finding other opportunities that allows them to be flexible.
Many workers haven’t been lucky or can’t change career paths easily, however. And it’s caused tension between many employees and the employers calling them back. Recently, companies have seen unions forming against the return and have enabled strict policies to get workers in offices.
A few places have workers who have stuck it out and aren’t budging. These are the states that have the most people working from home still.
The capital of the U.S. is no stranger to protest, and they’ve said they’re not leaving the comfort of their homes. According to last year’s census report, nearly half (48.3 percent) of workers did so remotely in the District of Columbia.
Washington (as a whole) averages 24.4 percent of its workers still remote, the highest in the county. However, the numbers are staggered, with the District of Columbia and Seattle taking the most significant percentage of those employees.
But before anyone gets their pitchforks out, it’s not the politicians in D.C. phoning it in.
Although the capital is more commonly associated with the federal government than tech jobs, the region has one of the largest I.T. sectors in the country. And when it comes to remote work availability, tech rules over other industries.
The sudden transition hasn’t been without its kinks, however. The capital has faced major growing pains due to the sudden adjustment and some are not taking it well.
City officials are particularly feeling the loss of tax revenue from the once vibrant downtown district. With half its workforce gone, the commercial corridors look desolate during peak weekday hours.
According to the Washington Post, about 9 percent of tax revenue came from office properties downtown, which are now mostly vacant. A threat which posed a “serious long-term risk to the District’s economy and tax base.”
Nonetheless, remote workers in the city say they are not planning on coming back.
The Census Bureau found Maryland in at 24.2. percent of its workers clocking in at home in 2022. And this year, it is still going strong, with 12.7 percent still full-time remote and 28.2 having a hybrid schedule.
Not only that, but Maryland comes in at No. 3 in the country as one of the “Best States for Working from Home” due to the cost of utilities, internet speed, and other living and working metrics.
For many workers in Maryland, one benefit of the state’s great remote opportunities is the recent option to relocate outside the city. Towns boarding Baltimore and Columbia are finding growth with telecommuters interested in affordable housing and quiet green spaces unavailable in the city.
It’s easy to see why Maryland is one of the states that have most people working from home. For instance, the state has seen potential in telecommuting and is looking toward the future.
“This space that we had during COVID heightened not only our sense of awareness but revealed the need for a deeper sense of fulfillment. People began to realize burnout, stress, imbalance, and long hours were no longer the badge of honor that would take your career to the next level. They began to realize this (life) is not the preseason, this is the ballgame,” said J. Gerald Suarez, Professor of the Practice in Systems Thinking and Design at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.
As such, the Maryland General Assembly is attempting something that may be unprecedented in the country. It’s considering a bill giving tax credits to employers who experiment with a four-day workweek.
If the next evolution is a four-day work week, Maryland could be first to see if it’s possible. However, it would depend on whether employers are willing to risk it without the push of a global pandemic.
The Rocky Mountains State has many locals avid about hiking, camping, backpacking, and rock climbing. Although the enthusiasm for outdoor activities is as prevalent as ever, Colorado locals are still opting to stay home on weekdays.
Almost 24 percent of the state’s workforce is still remote as of last year, according to the Census Bureau. The state also ranks number ten as one of the best places to work from home.
Although the trend has declined in recent years at the state’s most remote-heavy cities, it has remained relatively small. Only a 4% decrease was recorded in work-from-home availability between 2021 and 2022 in Denver.
The city experienced booming growth from 2010 to 2021, growing 18 percent and over 711,000 residents.
Incidentally, however, the population growth in Denver that was expected after the COVID-19 remote work transition didn’t take place, according to the Denver Post.
Housing prices in Denver may have scared off migrants from San Francisco and New York. However, there may have been other mitigating factors. Some remote employers posted job boards that would allow you to live anywhere but in Colorado.
It seems a few companies blackballed the state due to a law passed in 2019 prohibiting them from lowballing pay.
Locals are sticking around, however.
For one, a large portion of Colorado-based companies granted remote opportunities post-COVID-19– primarily because employees asked for it.
“Remote working is so popular here because we’re a state that really enjoys its flexibility, that really enjoys its free time. We’re not a New York, Boston or Philadelphia where people pretty much live for their jobs. Out here, people really live for their lives.” said Traci Marques, executive director and CEO of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center on KRDO.
Thanks to the many benefits and lifestyle, its no wonder these these states have the most people working from home still.