The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perceptions of work and home. Because of lockdowns and other restrictions, tens of millions of people have been working at home for the last 16 months. Their homes have become their offices and they have been seeing more of their families and pets than they have of their colleagues and friends. (These are the states where the most people are working from home.)
This shift has its upsides. People no longer have to commute to offices, whether that means long drives or subway or bus rides. They no longer have to wear suits and ties. In fact, if they don’t have a Zoom meeting, they can spend the day in their pajamas.
It also has its downsides. They’re stuck at home, and that can be frustrating, especially if home is a small apartment in a big city. Some places are more hospitable to full-time home office work than others, due to a number of factors. (In general, this is the best city to live in every state.)
24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the best cities for work-from-home value, using a ranking formulated by LawnStarter, a lawn care start-up that frequently conducts research into city and state amenities. The ranking covers the country’s 120 biggest housing markets, and is based on 20 weighted metrics, including measures of average home and yard size, cost and availability of sale and rental properties, and the availability of incentives offered to incoming remote workers by some cities, counties, and states. (Population numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey one-year estimates.)
The best city of all for work-from-home value is Rochester, New York. It ranks No. 1 for buyer friendliness and has numerous other advantages. It was one of the country’s first boomtowns and was home to such familiar names as Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak, and Xerox. It was hurt by deindustrialization, but that’s what makes it attractive today — it combines good infrastructure with affordability.
Other good cities for home workers include Shreveport, Louisiana; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Vancouver, Washington — reflecting the list’s geographic diversity. There are good work-from-home cities all over the country.