Live in These States? You May Want to Consider Remote Work

If you'd rather clock-in from home—or from anywhere other than a stuffy office cubicle—here are the top states to find flexible work locations

remote work
(Image: iStock/Merlas)

OK, OK—we read up on the perks of remote work all the time. Who doesn’t dream of working from the comfort of their bed, home office, or even in a beach chair while poolside?

The employer benefits are just as promising, if not enticing: higher retention; an expanded pool of talent due to few limits on candidates’ locations; and lower operating costs.Workers also prefer the freedom of being able to clock in from anywhere, or at least the option of choosing whether to get dressed, brave the commute, and join others who are doing the same thing.

Numbers even back up this notion. According to a PwC NextGen study from 2013, ” A significant number of employees from all generations feel so strongly about wanting a flexible work schedule that they would be willing to give up pay and delay promotions in order to get it.” The PwC’s NextGen research also indicates that millennials, in particular, do not believe productivity should be evaluated by hours, but by the actual results accomplished, and they view work as a “thing” and not a “place.”

However, even remote work requires a “place,” with employers having to consider factors such as taxes, accessibility for company meetings, client-base, and time zones. Some states offer more remote work than others.

A recent report by FlexJobs, a job search website for freelance, flexible, and part-time work, lists the top 15 states to work remotely in, as follows:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. New York
  4. Florida
  5. Illinois
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Virginia
  8. North Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Arizona
  11. Minnesota
  12. Massachusetts
  13. Colorado
  14. New Jersey
  15. Ohio

The FlexJobs report also indicates that top industries for remote work are healthcare, tech, customer service, and education, with opportunities ranging from entry to executive level, with both part- and full-time hours being listed by top companies.

In California, Texas, and New York—the leading locations—jobs are listed by industry leaders like Anthem, Dell, Volkswagen, Humana, Toyota, Wells Fargo, Adobe, Salesforce, and Xerox. Some of the states mentioned on this list even include companies that also appear on Black Enterprise‘s 2016 Best Companies for Diversity list. Last year, it was predicted that several of the states mentioned on FlexJob’s list—specfically North Carolina, Georgia, California, and Florida—were expected to experience the fastest job growth this year, according to a report from Kiplinger. These states also include the top industries listed in the FlexJobs report, which was echoed in Kiplinger’s research.

But, what does all this mean?

Let’s take a look at a large portion of the employee pool beside millennials: parents. When you consider the fact that 54% of black households are headed by single parents—with 74% of them being female breadwinners—the option to accommodate family time, school obligations, and bring in a little more money via part-time work able to be done almost anywhere is that much more attractive.

Also, for millennials and recent grads that still hasn’t found an ideal full-time job, looking into freelance or flexible working options at companies in these states could be an ideal to get your foot in the door and gain experience. Hey, it beats settling for underemployment, or worse, and long periods of unemployment.