People who worked remotely were a rarity before the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies paid large sums to have offices, assuming that people are more productive. In physical groups, they could plan and make decisions face to face.
Whether that was true or not, the pandemic shut most businesses around the country, sometimes for months. As companies and their workers debate whether they should return to offices, some places are much better to work remotely than others. These cities are a combination of metropolitan areas in the South and older industrial cities. Atlanta tops this list.
The yardsticks for CoWorkingCafe’s recent “Top 10 Cities for Remote Workers” report included the cost of living, internet access, ease of walking in the area, co-working facilities and the number of airports within 70 miles. Data were taken from the Census Bureau, Walk Score and BroadbandNow.
As mentioned, Atlanta topped the list, along with the southern cities of Orlando, Tampa and Birmingham. Among older industrial cities, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Buffalo made the ranking. Presumably, one factor for these older cities is their cost of living and housing.
Many companies face a harsh fight with their workers about whether they need to return to office space. Some have moved away from close proximity. Others have set up lives with home offices and equipment. Still, others have become more regular presences to their children and their spouses. For many of these, a return to the office will be painful, no matter where that office is.
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