10 Best Cities for TelecommutersThe needs of telecommuters and freelance employees are vast and wide. Along with high speed Internet access and wireless options, telecommuters also need a city with a low cost of living, a metropolitan feel, and safety, to name a few. The Census Bureau found that many metro areas saw an increase of people telecommuting between 2005 and 2010. The percentage of home-based workers is only getting bigger and many cities are starting to take note of the trend. So, we looked around to see what cities are best for it and found 10 we think will be any telecommuters dream.
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee has a small town feel, with big city appeal. The city is known as the “Brew City” and is famous for its beer scene. It’s also home to 13 Fortune 500 companies, two botanical gardens, a major league baseball team, and 17 colleges and universities.
- Charlotte, North Carolina: Charlotte is the second largest banking city in the United States, coming in right after New York City. There are nine Fortune 500 companies here and 19 colleges and universities including UNC Charlotte. Sports fans will enjoy the major league football, basketball, and hockey teams while art lovers can explore 17 museums. Charlotte’s cost of living is about 10 percent lower than the national average, making it an even more attractive place to live.
- Atlanta, Georgia: Atlanta has a low cost of living, about 4 percent below the national average for big cities, and has a crime rate that is steadily decreasing. Along with lower living costs and being a safe place to live, Atlanta is also home to several top universities, four major league sports teams, and many cultural offerings.
- Washington, DC: Because there are laws mandating federal agencies allow workers to telecommute as much as possible, it makes sense that Washington, DC is a telecommuter-friendly city. The District of Columbia makes the list because of a high percentage of white-collar workers, broadband Internet access, and abundance of government agencies.
- San Francisco, California: While the cost of living is higher in San Francisco, the city is friendly to telecommuters. The area offers fast Internet access, incredible technology and business support, and has one of the hottest city atmospheres in the country. Traffic is often heavy in San Francisco, giving employers a great excuse to let employees work from home regularly.
- Manchester, New Hampshire: Manchester is just 50 miles north of Boston, giving telecommuters quick access to many corporate firms. However, housing costs in Manchester are below the nation’s average and there are no state sales or income tax.
- Seattle, Washington: If you need a Wi-Fi connection, you’re sure to find one just about anywhere in Seattle. Wi-Fi connections are abundant and affordable. Seattle has a lower cost of living when compared to other high-tech cities, and is one of the healthiest cities in the United States. The climate is rainy, but that doesn’t stop locals from taking part in outdoor activities like hiking and boating.
- Houston, Texas: If you telecommute in Houston, you’ll enjoy an average home price of $90,000 in the Alief and Sharptown neighborhoods. There are many planned communities in nearby Woodlands that offer affordable housing options. Houston’s career opportunities are diverse, ranging from corporate jobs to healthcare careers. The city also has a world class symphony, professional sports teams, performing arts theaters, and a cosmopolitan feel.
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh is in the midst of transitioning from “Steel City” to the “Paris of Appalachia.” The city’s economy is getting more diverse and has expanded into industries such as robotics, finance, and nuclear engineering. The city is currently home to eight Fortune 500 companies and has seven universities.
- Austin, Texas: Austin is known for being an eclectic city, which makes it a popular place for all kinds of people and personalities. There is a rich intellectual and cultural scene, due to the University of Texas in Austin, as well as 10 other colleges and universities in the area. Austin is best known for their music scene and is often called the “live music capital of the world.” In addition, the American College of Sports Medicine ranks Austin as America’s 10th Healthiest City.
Author - Janette Forsythe