There’s never been a better time to be a remote worker. According to GlobalWorkPlaceAnalytics, 2.8 percent of the US workforce works from home at least half the time. That’s 3.7 million people! Over the last decade, the number of work-at-home employees has grown almost 10 times faster than the rest of the working population.
The internet has made location-independent work a reality for many people — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Coworking spaces popping up around the country and a focus on better work-life balance means a new generation of workers might never go to a traditional office, and they'd prefer it that way.
So, when you can work from anywhere, does it matter where you live?
Remote workers want to live in cities with plenty of coworking spaces and coffee shops, a strong sense of community, and ample opportunity to have fun outside of work. Knowing these priorities, we identified seven cities that offer remote workers the infrastructure they need to be productive along with a high quality of life outside of work.
So take a seat at your local coffee shop, grab a cappuccino and fire up that laptop. Here are seven cities that encourage you to create your own office.
1. Dallas, Texas
According to NomadList, an online resource for remote workers, Dallas is the top US city for telecommuters. With a metro area population of nearly seven million, there’s certainly no shortage of community. With nearly 20 coworking spaces and more than 30 great coffee shops (Dallas Fort Work is a favorite), you’ll always be able to find a space to hang out with your laptop and be productive.
As a bonus, if you haven’t found your perfect work-from-home gig yet, Dallas is home to major employers like AT&T and Kimberly-Clark that just may be in need of new telecommuters.
2. Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is one of America’s favorite cities to visit, and for remote workers, it’s also a great place to live. Buffalo’s history and charm makes it fun to explore in the summer, and you’ll love getting to stay at home to telecommute in your slippers during the snowy winters.
Buffalo’s remote workers have about ten favorite haunts, and the list includes both coffee shops and coworking spaces. One top-rated space is Dig at Innovation Center Buffalo, a multi-use space that encourages creative collaboration.
3. Portland, Oregon
Oregon’s high percentage of remote workers and Portland’s laidback creative culture makes the city an ideal place to telecommute. You’ll be able to connect with other remote workers during the day and enjoy a thriving culture and dining scene when you're off the clock.
Portland has a whopping 500 public workspaces(!), including coffee shops, libraries and dozens of coworking spaces. That means the next time you can’t snag the good cafe seat next to the outlet, you’ll have no trouble finding another place to work. No more working in your cramped apartment.
4. Richmond, Virginia
Richmond’s delightful historic district will keep you inspired on stressful days, and the community’s relative closeness to Washington, DC, makes it easy to head into the city to attend meetings or cultural events.
Remote workers in Richmond can take advantage of the area’s nearly 30 vibrant coffee shops and public workspaces. Telecommuters who want to set up shop in a coworking space love spots like 804RVA and Gather.
5. Atlanta, Georgia
According Indeed, more residents of the Atlanta metropolitan area are looking for remote work than any other city in the country. That means you’ve got a readymade community of like-minded telecommuters to connect with, during work hours and on weekends. Not to mention the fact that starting your workday with a bike ride on the BeltLine or a walk in the Georgia sun certainly doesn’t sound too shabby.
6. Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s tech boom and influx of remote-friendly companies like Amazon and Microsoft make it a haven for telecommuters. On days when you feel like working outside your home, you can choose from 200 public workspaces.
Seattle is a bit more expensive than many other US telecommuting hubs, but it makes up for it with all the cultural and outdoor offerings that Seattle is known for. (And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that your city will be full of fellow telecommuters on days when you need a little human interaction.)
7. Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is smack dab in the middle of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, which is home to a community of hard-working academics, scientists and students from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. Raleigh is also host to a growing community of creative makers.
Not surprisingly, this makes for a motivating and engaging environment for remote workers. (Oh, and did we mention the tantalizing food available at every turn? Barbecue breaks increase productivity, right?) Spend some time with your laptop in one of the city’s hip specialty coffee shops or check out Nest Raleigh, a popular coworking space.