By Brie Weiler Reynolds, Career Development Manager
Before the COVID-19 crisis, 4.9 percent 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 percent of remote jobs have location or geographic requirements, such as a city, state, region of a country, or country. That means that only 5 percent 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
1. California: 6%
Cities in California with the highest populations of remote workers:
Santa Monica: 9.6%
2. Texas: 5.2%
Cities in Texas with the highest populations of remote workers:
The Woodlands: 11.3%
Sugar Land: 8.8%
3. New York: 4.5%
Cities in New York with the highest populations of remote workers:
New York City: 4.3%
4. Florida: 6.2%
Cities in Florida with the highest populations of remote workers:
Delray Beach: 9.5%
Miami Beach: 8.6%
5. Illinois: 5.1%
Cities in Illinois with the highest populations of remote workers:
Arlington Heights: 6.2%
6. Virginia: 5.6%
Cities in Virginia with the highest populations of remote workers:
7. Pennsylvania: 5.1%
Cities in Pennsylvania with the highest populations of remote workers:
8. North Carolina: 6%
Cities in North Carolina with the highest populations of remote workers:
9. Georgia: 5.9%
Cities in Georgia with the highest populations of remote workers:
Sandy Springs: 5.5%
10. Massachusetts: 5.3%
Cities in Massachusetts with the highest populations of remote workers:
11. Washington: 6.5%
Cities in Washington with the highest populations of remote workers:
12. New Jersey: 4.7%
Cities in New Jersey with the highest populations of remote workers:
Jersey City: 3.5%
13. Colorado: 8.6%
Cities in Colorado with the highest populations of remote workers:
14. Arizona: 6.8%
Cities in Arizona with the highest populations of remote workers:
15. Minnesota: 6.1%
Cities in Minnesota with the highest populations of remote workers:
St. Paul: 6%
Remote Work Trends
Commute stress is routinely cited as one of the primary reasons workers seek remote jobs. And, 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.
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? Many tools, such as FlexJobs, allow you to find remote jobs by entering your location.