COVID-19 has devastated many businesses and workers. Restaurants and other hospitality businesses have been hit the worse. The virus has led to greater flexibility for some industries. Big tech companies like Google and Facebook have been received extended work from home opportunities, and some employees are granted permanent work from home. With this many people have the ability now to choose where they want to live, without having to worry about going into an office.
The shift of these types of workers are now moving and certain cities are seeing a population boom. These cities and towns are now starting to get the nickname “Zoom Towns”. It seems that the opportunity for these jobs is in tech, financial services, sales, and other roles that can be performed from a home office. These “Zoom Towns” are attracting well-educated workers with their lower costs of living, access to the outdoors, and strong communities.
Researchers from RetailMeNot ranked cities on metrics that covered:
- Community Safety
- Health and Weather
- Housing and Living Costs
The researchers also applied data from the CDC, FBI, National Centers for Environmental Information, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to create the score for each of the cities.
They also investigated the research at the state level as well. Some of the states that had the highest scores were those located in the Mountain and Midwest states. Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Utah due to their environments are very inviting to remote workers. One of the most appealing factors of Wyoming is that there is no Income Tax. Idaho and Utah offer great weather, low crime rates, and many single-family homes. Southern states were not as inviting to remote workers due to the higher poverty and crime rates. They also have variable weather which can create less opportunities for physical activities.
When it comes to the city-level analysis, cities with a population of 100,000 or more were considered. Most the cities that were included fell into the category of suburbs or major metropolitan areas. These areas had a wider range of appeal to workers and easy access to amenities. If you are looking for smaller towns, then RetailMeNot recommends looking into the states such as Wyoming, Minnesota, and Utah. Just like the states, the cities that have been ranked tend to have lower tax rates, healthy citizens, and ideal weather for physical activities.
Here are the 15 Best Cities
15. Sandy Springs, GA
This city is located just north of Atlanta in Fulton County. It is the seventh largest city in Georgia. Home to many corporate headquarters such as UPS, IBM, Oracle, Cox Communications, and Mercedes-Benz USA. A very tech driven city, which is appealing to remote workers.
14. League City, TX
Located outside of Houston, this metro area is the fourth largest just behind New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. With a low cost of living, 3.4% higher than the national average, promotes remote workers to flock here and call it home. Located 50 miles from the Gulf, makes for trips to the beach a little longer, but well worth it.
13. Roseville, CA
The largest city in Placer county, a suburb of Sacramento. According to the US Census bureau it has a population of 141,500 residents. Another city that is home to some major employers like Hewlitt Packard and Union Pacific Railroad. Roseville is also home to extension campuses of Brandman University and Sierra College.
12. Carlsbad, CA
A beautiful oceanside city, with many world renown beaches like Tamarack Surf Beach and South Carlsbad State Beach. Also, home to theme parks Legoland and SEA LIFE Aquarium, it has plenty of entertainment. Near San Diego, which allows access to all its amenities.
11. Henderson, NV
A city near Las Vegas, in Nevada. Home to Clark County Museum which houses exhibits on regional history and features restored vintage homes. Lake Mead has marinas and is set in a rocky landscape, which consists of many trails for physical activities. Another amazing area to visit is the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area which has a petroglyph site with as many as 300 ancient rock art panels.
10. Olathe, KS
Olathe, Kansas, is the fourth most populous city in the metro area of Kansas City. In 2008 CNN/Money and Money Magazine ranked Olathe #11 on the list of “100 Best Cities to Live in the United States.” It is home to corporate offices for Farmers Insurance, GARMIN international, and Honeywell.
9. Torrance, CA
Known for its low crime rates and is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the Los Angeles County. It is a light high-tech industrial city. The city also has 1.5 miles or beaches on the Pacific Ocean and has a moderate year-round climate. Making it a city that is highly sought after for remote workers.
8. Centennial, CO
This tech driven city is home to corporate offices of Comcast, Arrow Electronics, United Healthcare, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Zillow Group. Centennial also has one of the lowest sales tax rates at 2.5%. Located just outside of Denver, Centennial is the tenth most populous city in Colorado. The median age is 37.2, which makes it a great city for middle aged workers.
7. Thousand Oaks, CA
Approximately 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, it is the second-largest city in Ventura County. Thousand Oaks is also consistently on the FBI’s Safest Cities in America and has one of the lowest crime rates in all of California. Dubbed the “the next Silicon Valley” for the reason of the number of biotech and high-tech companies. The city’s economy is based largely on industries of biotech, electronic, aerospace, telecommunications, and financing.
6. Carmel, IN
Also known as the “Roundabout Capitol of the US” is also home to the first electronic automated traffic signals. It is often citied as one of the best places to live in America. Carmel has a high educated population whose average median income is above $100,000, and average home price of $330,000. It has also been acknowledged as one of the safest cities in America, and best place to launch a career.
5. Fremont, CA
Home to the tech sector Silicon Valley, which has seen an increase in growth since 2010. Fremont is the one largest cities by land area and the fourth most populous cities in the San Francisco Bay area. The city features warm, dry summers and mild, damp winters. Fremont has a Mediterranean climate. Median income for a household is around $123,000.
4. Bellevue, WA
Bellevue is home to some of the world’s most innovative tech companies. Downtown Bellevue is currently the second largest city center in Washington. It is also the sixth wealthiest of all the communities in the state of Washington. It has been number one in CNNMoney’s list of best places to live and to launch a business. Some of the largest employers consist of Microsoft, T-Mobile, Expedia, and Boeing.
3. Frisco, TX
Frisco is part of a humid subtropical region. The have major employers like T-Mobile USA, and Oracle Conifer Health Solutions. It was also the largest-growing city in 2017 and was the fastest-growing city many years prior. It is a northern community of Dallas and serves as a bedroom community for Dallas-Fort Worth. They have been designated Tree City USA by the National Arbor Foundation.
2. Cary, NC
Home to major employers like SAS Institute, MetLife, and Verizon, this city is an up-and-coming for tech. With this strong attraction to tech, more and more remote workers are flocking to this city. The weather is not half bad either if you do not mind the chance of hurricanes or subzero winters. The also brag about the low crime rate and low unemployment rate.
1. Gilbert, AZ
Gilbert has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located just southwest of the Phoenix metro area. The population of has dramatically increased since 1980, where the population was just over 5,000 residents to today’s population of over 250,000. Some of the major employers in this area are GoDaddy, Banner Health, and Walmart. If you do not mind the baking desert heat of the summer and mild to cool winters. Then Gilbert is one of the best spots for you.
Only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included in the analysis. Additionally, to improve relevance, only one city per metropolitan area was included in the final list of cities. Data were sourced from the following surveys and reports: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 500 Cities Project: Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program; National Centers for Environmental Information Climate at a Glance; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities; U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey; U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections.