CONTRIBUTOR
Contributing Writer,

The concept of remote work has emerged as a transformative perk for employees lucky enough to have the opportunity, and disciplined enough to stay on task whether they are working from their home office or a coffee shop.  Remote work is reshaping the way we work and where we choose to call home. Once a rarity, remote work has now become a mainstream option for an increasing number of workers, offering flexibility and freedom.

A recent survey by DesignRush affixes a suitability index for towns and cities, and metropolitan areas based on a set of variables, such as percentage of the population that works from home, monthly consumer expenditures per household on phone services, percent with a broadband internet subscription, average housing cost, average travel time to work, and something called “Weighted Broadband Cost.”  The variables are compared to the national average.

Boulder, Colorado topped their list, followed by Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina, and Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas. The list contained 30 metropolitan areas. In terms of states with the most appearances on the list, Florida and Oregon have the most locations, with four, followed by Colorado and North Carolina, each recording three.

Gianluca Ferruggia, the General Manager at DesignRush, said remote work has become increasingly viable in recent years as internet connections have become faster and more reliable, and societal influences, such as the pandemic, have revealed the value of remote work.

“Many workers now prefer to work from home due to the better work-life balance it can provide, plus it can allow workers to take advantage of higher average salaries that might be paid in other areas than the areas in which they live.” He added, “Businesses also benefit from the increased desirability of remote working, as it allows them the widest talent pool to choose the best candidates for a job. This could be done by hiring workers for remote roles or by outsourcing projects to digital contractors when a full hire might not make financial sense.”

“This increased importance for remote working options prompted this study to find the best metro areas for remote working, with Boulder, Colorado, coming out on top.”

While Boulder has the essential infrastructure necessary to support working from home, it is also a nature-lover’s dream. Nestled against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder epitomizes the fusion of natural beauty and urban sophistication. It is known for its vibrant culture and progressive ethos.

Boulder has an abundance of coffee shops, inviting libraries and collaborative co-working spaces; the city provides a conducive environment for productivity and creativity to thrive. In 2017, the city was named by Expedia as one of America’s 13 hottest up-and-coming coffee cultures, and it has continued along that momentum through the present.

As remote work continues to redefine the traditional notions of employment, cities like Boulder stand at the forefront of this paradigm shift, embracing innovation and adaptability with open arms.

Buffer, a company created in 2010 by Founder and CEO Joel Gascoigne for the purpose of collaborating with other remote workers, issues an annual State of Remote Work Report that gauges the experiences of thousands of remote workers from around the world. Its latest report, the 2023 State of Remote Work, highlights the experiences of 3,000 remote workers. The top takeaways are:

• Remote work continues to be perceived as very positive. Ninety-eight percent of respondents would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers (up slightly from 97% in 2022.)

• Flexibility remains the top benefit of remote work.

• One in three remote workers say their biggest challenge is that they stay home too often, because they don’t have a reason to leave.

• Remote workers are split on the impact that remote working has on their career growth. Thirty-six percent said career growth is easier as a result of working remotely (that percentage is 14% higher than 2022’s response to the same question). And 28% of remote workers said career growth is more difficult for them (that is down from 45%). Thirty-six percent said remote work has no impact on their career growth.

As for pay, 43% of respondents said their pay is not tied to their location, and 70% of remote workers are not paid less for working remotely.

Forty-one percent of the respondents work in the software or IT industries.