Washington among best work from home states
Washington is among the top 10 work from home (WFH) states, according to rankings compiled by WalletHub. Using 12 key metrics to compare the 50 states and District of Columbia, that personal finance website ranked Washington #8. New Jersey was #1.
Analysts at Wallet Hub also used two key dimensions, "Work Environment" and "Living Environment" to rank the best WFH states. Work Environment, valued at 60 points, considered things like share of potential telecommuters, internet access, and cybersecurity. Living Environment, valued at 40 points, considered the price of electricity and internet plans, home size, and type of dwelling.
Based on these two dimensions and corresponding weighted scores,Washington ranked 11th for Work Environment (D.C. was #1) and 19th for Living Environment (Texas was #1).
Looking at the 12 key metrics, the report had Washington ranked:
- 3rd for household internet access
- 3rd for the average retail price of electricity
- 5th for share of population that is working from home
- 21st for the cost of internet; and
- 26th for a home's average square footage
Washington accumulated 61.57 points on the 100-point scale. The scores ranged from New Jersey's high, with a score of 66.75 to 51st-place Alaska,with 34.74 points.
In its report of findings, WalletHub found only 6% of the national workforce was working remotely pre-pandemic, citing data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Now, the number of professional jobs that are remote is around 20%,but WalletHub cautioned these workers may not always have the best environment for doing so.
Crowded, uncomfortable spaces, inadequate security, and high costs for electricity and internet access can hinder productivity, the researchers noted.Conversely, workers may have a more relaxed and possibly more productive environment at a home office.
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, said another consideration is that increased flexibility in the workforce can create stronger competition for positions.
"People can be hired by companies across the world, but also have to stand out among a worldwide field of applicants," she stated.
Companies should allow employees to work from home, if possible, after the pandemic, Gonzalez suggested. "Having at least some employees work from home creates a more hygienic and less chaotic work environment and would help minimize the economic damage of future crises like the COVID-19 pandemic," she explained, adding, "Letting employees work from home could lead to a general boost in worker morale, too, considering the majority of people who currently work from home want to continue doing so."
Other states on the "top 10" list of best states for remote work included the District of Columbia (#2), followed by Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Utah, Texas, Maryland, and New York.
Among other Western states in the top 20 were Arizona (#14), Nevada (#15), and California (#16). Oregon was 21st, Idaho was 37th.
As part of its report, WalletHub assembled a panel of experts to discuss several key questions:
- The outlook for work from home arrangements.
- Should companies invest more resources to establish a functional WFH alternative for their employees?
- The most important advantages and disadvantages of working remotely.
- The top three indicators of the best work from home infrastructure.
Rankings were based on data from U.S. Census Bureau, Global Workplace Analytics, HighSpeedInternet.com, Internet Crime Complaint Center, Wakefield Research, U.S. Energy Information Administration, BroadbandNow, Homes.com, and Zillow.