Working from home is a sign of the times and it may still be well past the pandemic. A recent survey of “professionals” found that 45% of those polled will not be required to work at their companies’ offices once they reopen. That total jumps to 86% when respondents who said they wouldn’t be required to go in every day are added in. This shift is playing out in the real estate market as well, with homebuyer demand for home offices jumping in the pandemic. With all this in mind, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) ranked the best places to work from home by county. Here’s a look at the top 10 and how NAR decided who came out on top.
How the counties were ranked
Each county was given a “Remote Work Score” based on 9 factors. Seven of those could boost the score, including the percentage of people estimated to be working from home, how urban the area was, and the percentage of households that could choose from at least 3 broadband providers. It was also important for the county to have a healthy supply of office jobs, suggesting the potential to work them from home. Two factors could drag scores down, both related to affordability. This included the percentage of homeowners who had to spend more than 30% of their income on housing, signaling homes might be expensive.
Who made the top 10
After looking at 3,142 counties, NAR scored these highest:
1. Forsyth County, Georgia (in the Atlanta metro area)
2. Douglas County, Colorado (Denver, Lakewood, Aurora area)
3. Los Alamos County, New Mexico (Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque area)
4. Collin County, Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth area)
5. Loudon County, Virginia (Washington, Alexandria, Arlington area)
6. Hamilton County, Indiana (Indianapolis, Anderson, Carmel area)
7. Williamson County, Tennessee (Nashville, Murfreesboro, Davidson area)
8. Delaware County, Ohio (Columbus area)
9. Broomfield County, Colorado (Denver, Lakewood, Aurora area)
10. Dallas County, Iowa (Des Moines, West Des De Moines area)
Forsyth claimed the title of “best place to work from home” with some winning stats. NAR estimated that 11% of its residents already worked from home and nearly 100% could choose from 3 or more broadband providers. Its population is also on the rise, up about 20% over the last 5 years, boosting its score. Dallas County rounded out the top 10 and left money in homeowners’ budgets for office supplies. NAR calculated that only 15% of its homeowners spent 30% or more of their income on housing.
In all, 3,142 counties were ranked, and NAR spotlighted the top 30, or 1%. Of those, Texas was home to 7, Virginia to 4, Colorado and Georgia to 3 each, and Florida and North Carolina to 2.
One trend to watch may be how remote workers fare in rural counties in the future. Homebuyer interest in those areas went up during the pandemic, and many states are working to improve broadband access in underserved locales under the CARES Act.
Wondering how your county did? Check out the ranking of all 3,000+ counties here or view NAR’s report here. And for tips on making any house a “best place to work from home,” catch our blog “How to Make Working from Home Actually Work for you.”
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