Before the COVID-19 crisis, 4.9% of the U.S. workforce worked from home full-time. Now, nearly everyone who can is working from home due to ongoing pandemic concerns, and many companies are switching to remote work indefinitely.
According to a recent survey, more than three-quarters of office workers who’ve been working remotely say they would prefer to work from home more often, even after the pandemic ends.
Does it matter where you’re working from if you work from home, though? Many people think having a remote job will allow them to work from anywhere they choose. But the truth is that the vast majority of remote jobs require workers to reside in a specific geographic location.
Why Do Remote Jobs Require a Location?
Close to 95% of remote jobs have location or geographic requirements, such as a city, state, region of a country, or country. That means that only 5% of remote, work-from-home positions are truly work-from-anywhere jobs, and that’s really important for job seekers to know if they want to land a remote job.
The most common reasons employers need their remote workers based in a specific area include legal, taxation, professional licensing, training, and regular in-person meetings.
So, if remote positions usually have location requirements, where are the most remote jobs? The following 15 states have had the highest number of remote job listings in the last year and a half, since January 1, 2019. The state’s current remote worker population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is also noted along with the top three cities with the most remote workers, and remote-friendly companies across the state.
States With the Most Remote Jobs
Cities in California with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Berkeley: 11.6%
- Santa Monica: 9.6%
- Pleasanton: 9.5%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in California:
Cities in Texas with the highest populations of remote workers:
- The Woodlands: 11.3%
- Sugar Land: 8.8%
- Austin: 8.2%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Texas:
Cities in New York with the highest populations of remote workers:
- New York City: 4.3%
- Syracuse: 4.2%
- Rochester: 2.9%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in New York:
Cities in Florida with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Delray Beach: 9.5%
- Clearwater: 9%
- Miami Beach: 8.6%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Florida:
Cities in Illinois with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Naperville: 10.1%
- Evanston: 7.9%
- Arlington Heights: 6.2%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Illinois:
Cities in Virginia with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Arlington: 5.7%
- Alexandria: 5.3%
- Roanoke: 4.1%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Virginia:
Cities in Pennsylvania with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Pittsburgh: 4.8%
- Philadelphia: 4.4%
- Allentown: 3.7%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Pennsylvania:
Cities in North Carolina with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Asheville: 8.3%
- Charlotte: 6.9%
- Raleigh: 6.9%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in North Carolina:
Cities in Georgia with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Columbus: 8%
- Atlanta: 7.2%
- Sandy Springs: 5.5%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Georgia:
Cities in Massachusetts with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Newton: 10%
- Worcester: 6.4%
- Cambridge: 6.2%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Massachusetts:
Cities in Washington with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Bellevue: 8.2%
- Seattle: 7.6%
- Renton: 5.7%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Washington:
Cities in New Jersey with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Jersey City: 3.5%
- Camden: 1.9%
- Newark: 1.6%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in New Jersey:
Cities in Colorado with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Boulder: 14.9%
- Broomfield: 9.4%
- Denver: 8.2%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Colorado:
Cities in Arizona with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Scottsdale: 10.7%
- Mesa: 6.6%
- Flagstaff: 5.9%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Arizona:
Cities in Minnesota with the highest populations of remote workers:
- Plymouth: 9.2%
- Eagan: 6.3%
- St. Paul: 6%
Remote-friendly companies headquartered in Minnesota:
Remote Work Trends
Commute stress is routinely cited as one of the primary reasons workers seek remote jobs. And, 60% of employees working from home during the pandemic say their work-life balance has improved because they’re no longer commuting to the office. With the average daily commute at 27.1 minutes one way, employees who work remotely half-time (about two to three days per week) stand to gain back 11 days a year just from not commuting as much!
Due to the fact that COVID-19 forced many companies to implement remote work on the fly, employees who otherwise wouldn’t be working virtually now are. In fact, a recent survey conducted by IBM found that 54% of employees would prefer to primarily work remotely.
And Zillow reports that more than half of homebuyers who work remotely say remote work influenced a major home change. For instance, remote work means that you don’t necessarily have to live in the same city as your employer, and aren’t forced to live in a larger (and more expensive) metropolitan area.
Furthermore, several cities and states now offer incentives for remote employees to move to their location. Oklahoma, Vermont, Alabama, and Colorado are some states that currently have remote worker incentive programs.
Find a Remote Job By Location
What if your state isn’t on this list? Here’s how to find remote jobs that let you work from wherever you’re located.
From the FlexJobs “Advanced Job Search” page, enter your location, either in the “U.S. Location” section or by choosing your country from the “International” section. Then select your remote work level and click the “Search for Jobs” button to see current listings that fit your criteria!
If you want a work-from-anywhere job (with no location requirements), use the “International” section to select “Anywhere,” which will return only job listings that can be done from anywhere around the world.
You can also search for remote jobs by location to choose your location either inside or outside the U.S. Clicking any of those options will bring you to a list of the current flexible and remote job listings for that particular location.
FlexJobs’ U.S. Remote Job Market Map also offers additional important state-specific remote work statistics for every state, such as the most popular remote career categories, the state’s average commute time, and state-specific flexible work policies.
Using FlexJobs to Find Remote Work
As a FlexJobs member, you can search our extensive jobs’ database for remote work-from-home jobs in whatever location is perfect for you. Not a member? Take the FlexJobs tour today! Right now, we’ve dropped our prices to as low as 50% off new memberships. Enter the code JOBS at checkout.
Originally published February 19, 2018; previously updated April 19, 2019.
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