With offices shut around the world and face-to-face meetings being replaced by Zoom calls; the world of work has changed considerably over the past twelve months.
Free from traditional office environments, many remote workers or digital nomads are realising they can do their work from anywhere they want. Some are even flying to tropical islands on remote working visas.
But being untethered to the office doesn’t mean you need to venture abroad. For those in the United States, now could be the perfect time to make a move away from the high rental prices and densely populated sprawling cities to the close-knit communities and more affordable homes of more rural areas.
Some states are even offering incentives to remote workers who relocate to their areas. While, even the ones that don’t have financial lures are sure to attract individuals who in the middle of a pandemic, are looking for more space, a lower cost of living, and a stronger connection with the great outdoors.
We’ve rounded up some of the best locations throughout the US where digital nomads can not only work freely, but also live how they want to live.
Being the capital of California, you would expect Sacramento to be congested and costly. However, the city is home a mere 500,000 residents and according to Numbeo, has one of the lowest rents and mortgage rates within the state.
Sacramento is a diverse community where all remote workers are welcomed thanks to the community’s focus on inclusion and equity.
There is an abundance of co-working spaces around town from The Urban Hive to Trade Coffee & Coworking. All perfect for remote workers who have to indulge clients with meetings every so often or want something a little quieter than a typical coffee shop.
After a long day of work, you can hop on your bike and enjoy the 28-mile Jedediah Smith Memorial Trailor or wander the city and take in the many wonderful murals and public art installations dotted around almost every corner.
Fans of the Netflix show Ozark may be interested in a move to Northwest Arkansas as the mountains featured would be right on your doorstep. As well as the stunning Ozarks’, new residents can explore craft breweries, world-class museums and charming towns in Benton and Washington counties.
The Life Works Here Initiative is a program aimed at attracting remote workers came science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics backgrounds. It offers $10,000 to successful applicants in addition to a new mountain bike or museum membership.
The official website for the program states that the Northwest Arkansas region offers a “per capita income that’s 14% higher than the national average” and is also a “unique opportunity to create balance for those eager to move from congested and expensive larger cities and suburbs.”
There is an abundance of outdoor space to allow you to stretch your legs with 162 miles of paved trails and 322 miles of top-notch mountain biking routes.
Applicants must be at least 24 years old and be able to relocate to the Northwest Arkansas region within six months of acceptance into the program.
A recent study conducted my mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse revealed the world’s 30 best cities for remote working and Austin, Texas claimed the number one spot.
The study analysed countries according to select digital nomad criteria:
- Work: employment rate, average monthly salary, number of co-working spaces, internet speed.
- Living conditions: cost of living, monthly rent and healthcare ratings.
- Fun: a leisure activity score out of 100 and a quality of life measure.
Based on this, it’s not difficult to see how Austin came out on top. The city has an average monthly salary of £3,688 as well as internet speeds of 137 mbps.
Austin is known for its tech start-ups and its youthful feel with a thriving musical, cultural and artistic scene. There is also plenty of outdoor space with 205 parks, 14 nature preserves and 50 miles of hiking trails.
Other countries featured in the Carphone Warehouse study included Thailand, Australia, and Hong Kong.
If you’re looking to relocate to somewhere where you’ll be able to completely destress then Savannah may just be one of your best bets within the United States.
The city has a slower pace of life compared to the likes of New York or Los Angeles and walking the cobblestone streets is like taking a step back in time with horse-drawn carriages still running and the providing the best way to tour the historic city.
Savannah is hoping their Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive will attract more remote workers.
Funded by the Savannah Economic Developed Authority (SEDA), the scheme will provide grants of up to $2,000 to tech workers who relocate to the region – which should be enough to cover at least some of the moving costs.
Commenting on the program, the SEDA Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship said, “Our beautiful, historic downtown, plus access to wonderful beaches and reasonable real estate market makes us an attractive place to live and work,”.
Phoenix may get all the attention, but Tucson has a kind of laid-back lifestyle and a “university town” atmosphere. It’s also more charming with a wealth more of independent coffee shops and eateries than its neighbour.
For those who want to make the move, a program called Remote Tucson is accepting remote workers from all industries and will give each successful applicant the financial assistance needed to relocate during these times.
Alongside the cash injection, the remote workers will receive free internet, moving assistance and other incentives totalling more than $7,500.
Meanwhile, residents will be paired with community ambassadors which should help them find their feet in their new surroundings.
Additional perks of a move to Arizona include the warm climate, great dining options and a myriad of outdoor activities to enjoy when you’re away from keyboard.
Launched in 2018, Tulsa Remote is an initiative designed to attract remote workers and digital nomads to the exciting and dynamic capital of Oklahoma.
Successful applicants will receive $10,000 cash with some provided upfront to help with relocation costs, some as a monthly stipend, and the rest after one year of working remotely in the city.
Culture in Tulsa is growing more vibrant with each passing year with a thriving arts district, jazz-clubs, speakeasies, and countless more.
For those seeking outdoor recreation, the Gathering Place is Tulsa’s 66-acre riverfront park that should provide a day out in nature for the whole family or for those who make the move alone.
The help from Tulsa Remote doesn’t stop with cash. Remote workers will also be offered a desk at the cities top coworking space where digital nomads from all over the country set up shop.
The Shoals, Northwest Alabama
The Shoals area in Alabama includes the cities of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. You may think this sounds like the middle of nowhere, but the larger cities of Nashville and Memphis are only a 2 hour drive away.
The Remote Shoals program will offer $10,000 to digital nomads who decide to move themselves and their laptops to the region.
One big advantage of life in The Shoals is the low cost of living with affordable real estate and low property taxes. Compared to Nashville, property prices are 50% lower while the overall cost of living is 15.7% below the national average.
The crime rate in Florence meanwhile is 70.9% lower than the national average.
There’s no shortage of things to do in The Shoals either with year-round music festivals, excellent culinary options, and outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking.
Meanwhile the region is also home to some famous music studios that have hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and George Michael.
If you decide to relocate to any of the above spots in the United States, remember we can help with moving your belongings.
Are you a digital nomad or remote worker? Which US cities are the perfect fit for your lifestyle? Join the discussion on Instagram or Facebook.
Other relevant blogs:
Dubai’s Remote Working VISA Program
Best Staycations in the USA
American Airlines Quietly Raises Baggage Fees