Where Is It Easier to Work From Home?
New Research Reveals Which U.S. Counties Earned the Highest Scores
Working from home used to be a rarity. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed remote work into the mainstream, many companies are rethinking how they’ll use shared office space in the future, potentially allowing some employees to work from home permanently.
If you’ve enjoyed working from home and shudder at the thought of returning to a daily commuting routine, this might be an ideal time to make a career move that keeps you in your home office. Or perhaps you’re interested in moving so your work from home arrangement can include additional perks, like a spacious yard or easy access to parks.
After all, successfully working from home requires more than carving out a space for a desk.
For example, one essential is a fast and reliable internet service. According to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, only 65 percent of Americans say their internet supports video calls adequately.
It might also be crucial to find a home that includes extra space for a dedicated home office and other nice-to-haves at an affordable price.
Ideally, you’d also want to live in an area that includes a high percentage of at-home workers, improving the odds that local employers support remote work.
Where to Search for a Home?
Some parts of the U.S. are better equipped to support remote work than others. Recognizing that homebuyers, employers, real estate developers, and others are prioritizing remote work, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) developed a new Work from Home Score.
NAR assessed 3,142 U.S. counties’ status on nine key factors that play a role in creating a supportive environment for working from home. The nine factors were then rolled up into an aggregated Work from Home Score.
Forsyth County, Georgia, part of the Atlanta-Sandy Sprints-Alpharetta metropolitan area, earned the top spot. Currently, 11.3 percent of its workforce already works from home, and 99 percent of the population is served by three or more broadband internet service providers.
The top 30 counties for working from home are displayed below.
Source: National Association of REALTORS® 2020 Work From Home Counties
With seven counties among the top 30, Texas leads all states. Virginia held the second spot, with four counties. Colorado and Georgia both had three counties in the top 30.
NAR plans to update the Work from Home Scores as conditions change.
How To Use This Research
If you’re thinking about moving to a new area, the scores may be a helpful consideration when starting your home search. You can view the full report and interactive maps on NAR’s site.
Once you’ve decided where you want to purchase a home and identified an Accredited Buyer’s Representative to assist you, discuss your home priorities and preferences with your buyer’s rep. They can help you pinpoint the right property and be your trusted advocate at each step in the process.