US workers newly accustomed to performing their jobs from home can now spend their sofa-bound lunch breaks checking out the rundown of the best cities in the US for remote working. While COVID-19 has reshaped the world in which we live in many unfortunate ways, perhaps one positive is the proof it has provided to many workers that they are more than capable of doing their job from home.
Such has been the impact of home working, some 63% of those currently working remotely want to continue (opens in new tab) in the same vein in the future. In addition, the majority of workers state they are getting just as much work done at home as the office - no commute needed. But while some workers will already be sitting pretty and have all the tools they need to work from home successfully, others will be enjoying the concept, but are perhaps eyeing a new location to help them achieve their full remote working potential.
How have the cities been ranked?
Fortunately, Zippia has done much of the hard work in narrowing down the best US cities for working from home. The criteria to make the shortlist was broken down into two areas - affordability and feasibility. The former examined median rent and the cost of homes - with property price rises outpacing income inflation in many areas, homeownership affordability has slumped in the face of the pandemic, despite the best mortgage lenders continuing to offer near record low mortgage rates.
For feasibility, the percent of homes with broadband internet and at least one laptop or desktop per household was considered. To complete the assessment, the current existing population of remote workers in a city was evaluated too, but which US cities have come out on top?
1. Fishers, Indiana
Just a short drive from Indianapolis, Fishers, Indiana has been crowned the best city for remote workers. A fortunate 8.8% of employees in Fishers already work from home, a greater proportion than almost anywhere else in the US. Affordable housing costs - average rent is $1,222 - and a strong tech infrastructure provide the excellent foundation they need to perform their work from home. Some 95.4% of homes in the city enjoy the benefits of high speed internet to aid them in their work.
2. Gahanna, Ohio
Just missing out on the top spot is Gahanna, Ohio, a city where 7.2% of residents already work from home. Key to its appeal is the average rent of just $1,052 and the 93.7% of homes that enjoy fast internet. The money saved on rent may well be spent in the appealing shops in the city or in nearby Columbus.
3. Urbandale, Iowa
Coming in under the radar in Iowa is the hidden remote working gem that is Urbandale. With 90% of inhabitants enjoying high-speed internet, this mid-west city is far from a broadband desert, while 6.5% of those living there work from home already. Housing costs are also low, with median rents just $895 a month.
4. Kennesaw, Georgia
With favorable climes and excellent high speed internet coverage, Kennesaw, Georgia might well be some people's choice for top spot, rather than fourth. The average home price of just $184,300 is a massive plus point too, with 6.1% of residents already plying their trades from the comfort of their perfectly affordable properties.
5. Marana, Arizona
Marana is the top choice for remote working in the Southwest, with 8.1% of employees already making the most of time saved by not commuting beyond their front doors. Average rent comes in at an affordable $1,222, and an impressive 93% of homes have high speed internet.
6. Wake Forest, North Carolina
An near chart-topping 11.5% residents of Wake Forest are currently working remotely, making the most of the fast and reliable broadband that 92.3% of homes enjoy. It's a city in a prime location too, near to Raleigh, and with rents at just $1,083, it comes at a price that will be the envy of many in Northeastern cities and the Bay Area.
7. Lee's Summit, Missouri
If the Mid-West is where you'd like to set up for working from home, Lee's Summit offers affordable rents at $1,015, or low home prices if you're looking to buy. Almost nine in ten properties enjoy great internet too, with 7.2% of residents already making the most of the remote working opportunities on offer.
8. Wesley Chapel, Florida
If you'd like to be beach side, but can't afford the pricier coastal cities of the US, Wesley Chapel might prove the home-working ticket for you. Just outside Tampa, the 9.8% who already work remotely represents a strong community, while 92% enjoy fast internet. Even with rents coming out at a slightly loftier than usual $1,425, it remains a brilliant option.
9. Spring Hill, Tennessee
While Nashville is on the up and up, it is the nearby Spring Hill, Tennessee that stakes a claim to be the among the best destinations for remote workers. Nearly 9% of employees in Spring Hill already work from home, mainly due to the tech friendly nature of a city where 93% of homes have high speed internet. Rents come in at $1,357 if you're looking to join them.
10. Shawnee, Kansas
Completing the top ten is this unassuming yet prosperous suburb of Kansas City. Rents in Shawnee are an eminently affordable $966, while the 6.1% of existing remote workers usually have access to great internet too.
Could you make a move?
If moving home is on your mind, whether it be to a new house better suited to working from home or for other reasons, there has probably never been a more favorable time to do so when it comes to mortgage costs.
The cost of home loans from the best mortgage lenders (opens in new tab) are close to historic lows, putting monthly payments at similarly attainable levels too. Even bearing in mind the sharp uptick in house prices seen of late, mortgage costs have fallen so significantly over a similar time-frame that mortgage payments now are typically much cheaper than when property values were lower.
If you already have a mortgage, the best refinance mortgage companies (opens in new tab) are offering the same low rates too - record numbers of American homeowners are refinancing to save hundreds of dollars (opens in new tab) a month on their payments, and everyone should look into this option if they haven't yet already. Equally, if your circumstances allow, you can switch to a cheaper mortgage deal and potentially afford to borrow more funds to finance your next house move.
Preparation is a must
Of course, securing the best mortgage deal is key, and for this, you'll need to demonstrate to a mortgage company that you are definitely worth lending to. So get prepared with paperwork and ready the proof that your income will cover your payments. You'll also need to show a prospective lender any debt you have on credit cards (opens in new tab) or personal loans (opens in new tab), but if they're all in hand and being paid off, mortgage companies like to see that you're someone who can be trusted to pay what you owe back. Polishing your credit report is a good idea too, so approach the best credit repair services (opens in new tab) if you're concerned your creditworthiness might not be up to scratch.
The actual costs of physically moving to a new home shouldn't be forgotten either, so you'll need to check out the best truck rentals for moving (opens in new tab). Remember that there'll be property taxes to pay too, and the cost of the best home owners insurance (opens in new tab).
All of a sudden, it might seem a lot to take on, but there are shortcuts you can take to make your life much easier. When it comes to finding the best mortgage deal, in particular, you can make use of comparison sites such as LendingTree (opens in new tab) to save time checking in with individual lenders - with such online market places, the mortgage companies are all waiting to come to you.
Of course, with such a massive and potentially life-changing decision, taking your time is still a must. However, find the house of your dreams, and get everything you should in place, and commuting to work need never be something you have to think about again.
Looking for more home working content? Then take a look at our home working tips (opens in new tab) for healthier remote working, or learn how to create a home office (opens in new tab). And if you need new equipment too, read our guides to the best home computers (opens in new tab) and the best keyboards (opens in new tab) for home offices.