Remote Workers Can Have It All in Asheville, NC
Asheville offers the perfect live-work lifestyle for remote workers.
What was once viewed as a regular workday and office environment has morphed into a completely different look over the years. Rather than commuting to the office and working a traditional nine-to-five, many companies have opted to let their employees take a full or partially remote role when it comes to their position.
Due to this change, spare bedrooms have turned into offices and those working out of their houses are rethinking where they call home. Without being tied to a physical space, people are able to work where they want to live, and an area’s quality of life is becoming a top deciding factor for those considering a move.
Asheville is one area catching folks’ eyes. It boasts the perfect combination of assets that appeal to remote workers. Think a reasonable cost of living, attractive housing options, a myriad of activities and professional resources, among other things.
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Take, for instance, internet connectivity. A good connection is critical when you work from home, and in most Asheville neighborhoods and census blocks, people can subscribe to both coaxial cable, which provides nearly 100% coverage, and DSL, which provides 97.5% coverage, from two or more companies.
“I require internet, fast routers and the ability to network into a server in Lexington,” says Devon Hutton, an architect who works remotely for Kentucky-based Paladin Inc. and operates a business called ecokulture Sustainable Design + Consulting out of her home. “Working from home, I have a better work/life balance. I don’t spend time commuting, so I’m more productive.”
While productivity might increase when one works from home, socialization — for some — decreases, thankfully, Asheville has a solution. Area groups, such as the Young Professionals of Asheville (YPA), are available for those looking to connect and network with others.
“Connecting to the community and support organizations will help you foster professional relationships,” says Justine Wickerham, outgoing president for the YPA.
“Working from home, I have a better work-life balance. I don’t spend time commuting, so I’m more productive.”
Devon Hutton/Paladin Inc.
The YPA is for those ages 21-40, and it gives participants opportunities to foster connections with others through social events, serve their community and take part in professional development opportunities. The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce also hosts monthly networking events and professional networking groups, and Creative Mornings, which began out of New York as a breakfast and short talk event for creatives, is also available for young professionals. Today, attendees gather in cities worldwide, including Asheville, to socialize, drink coffee and have breakfast.
On The Job
When it comes to a remote worker’s office environment, each person soon learns what setup and resources they need to work best.
For Wickerham, who also works from home operating her company called RootWise Landscape Solutions LLC, her requirements are pretty straightforward: a bedroom, a computer, a printer, a scanner, a phone and lots of coffee.
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“Working from home offers a different use of time and logistics during the day,” she says. “It’s a better fit for my personality and style.”
While Wickerham has her environment down to a T, occasionally, remote workers often seek a change of scenery. When this need arises, those in the Asheville area can head to a coworking space. A few options in the area include Hatchworks Coworking, Mojo Coworking, Focal Point Coworking, The Collider in the Callen Center, WestBase Coworking, the Center for Craft and Grind AVL.
Off The Clock
When remote workers are finished with work for the day, a slew of recreation options are available.
If food and drinks are on your radar, try New Belgium Brewing, Chai Pani, The Blackbird Restaurant and Zambra, which has a Western Mediterranean flair.
Asheville’s creative community is also a top draw. Rabbit Rabbit is a must-visit outdoor music and entertainment venue, especially when you’re ready to jam out to some tunes.
“People think of Asheville as a creative, counterculture place,” says Liz Tallent, one of the operating partners for The Orange Peel, an indoor music venue that owns Rabbit Rabbit. Here, attendees can find picnic tables, covered seating, cornhole games, a walk-up bar and the Asheville Taco Truck.
“Asheville is so wonderful that it makes people want to have greater freedom of schedule,” Wickerham says.