During the COVID-19 pandemic, state governments ordered “non-essential” businesses to close their buildings. While we’ve made big strides toward reopening in part due to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, it will still be months before we can achieve a full reopening nationwide. Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, many businesses have now adopted a work-from-home structure.
Prior to this pandemic, just 20% of all employed people whose jobs could be done from home actually worked from home all or most of the time. Now, that number has risen to 71%, with 54% saying they would want to continue working from home after the pandemic ends. However, people who are allowed to work from home may not always have the best environment for doing so. The best work-from-home conditions include low costs, reasonable comfort and a high level of security.
Exactly how easy it is to work remotely may depend on where you live. In order to find out the states that provide the best conditions for working from home, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of workers working from home before COVID-19 to internet cost and cybersecurity. We also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in the state.
Best States for Remote Work
|38||District of Columbia||55.01||3||50|
Working from home not only keeps people safe, but it also spares jobs that might have otherwise been lost. For more insight on the topic, we turned to a panel of experts. Click on the experts below to read their bios and responses to the following key questions:
- In evaluating the best work from home infrastructure, what are the top 3 indicators?
- Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, what are the steps that an individual can take in order to successfully transition to a work from home environment?
- Should companies invest more of their resources in establishing a functional work from home alternative for their employees? Will remote jobs be easier to come by after the Coronavirus crisis has ended?
- What are the most important advantages and disadvantages in working from home?
- According to research, more than half of workers would continue to telework even after the pandemic ends. How has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way Americans work?
Ask the Experts
In order to identify the best states for working from home, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key dimensions, “Work Environment” and “Living Environment.”
We evaluated those dimensions using 12 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best infrastructure.
We then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
Work Environment - Total Points: 60
- Share of Workers Working from Home (pre-COVID-19): Triple Weight (~25.71 Points)
- Share of Potential Telecommuters: Double Weight (~17.14 Points)
Note: Potential telecommuters are considered to be those in occupations classified as conducive to telecommuting: executive, administrative, managerial; professional specialty; technicians and related; sales; and administrative support.
- Households’ Internet Access: Full Weight (~8.57 Points)
Note: This composite metric measures both the share of households with a broadband subscription and the share of households with access to broadband speeds greater than 25 Mbps.
- Cybersecurity: Full Weight (~8.57 Points)
Note: This composite metric measures the number of internet crime victims per capita, the average amount lost as a result of internet crime and the cybersecurity risk index.
Living Environment - Total Points: 40
- Average Retail Price of Electricity: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Access to Low-priced Internet Plan: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metrics refers to low-priced broadband plans and it is a composite metric that includes:
- Internet Cost: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metrics refers to the price per MBPS and it is a composite metric that includes:
- Median Square Footage per Average Number of Persons in a Household: Double Weight (~10.00 Points)
- Share of Detached Housing Units: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Average Home Square Footage: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
- Share of for Sale Homes with Lot Greater than 1,000 Square Feet: Half Weight (~2.50 Points)
- Share of for Sale Homes with Swimming Pool: Half Weight (~2.50 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from U.S. Census Bureau, Global Workplace Analytics, HighSpeedInternet.com, Internet Crime Complaint Center, Wakefield Research, U.S. Energy Information Administration, BroadbandNow, Homes.com and Zillow.
Videos for News Use:
- YouTube (for web embedding National)
- Raw video file (for editing into clips)
- Raw audio file (for editing into clips)