With the outbreak of COVID-19, many homes are turning into the workplaces nationwide. Prior to this pandemic, just 25 percent of all workers in the U.S. worked from home. However, people who are allowed to work from home may not have the best environment for doing so. The best work-from-home conditions include low costs, reasonable comfort and a high level of security. The personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the Best States for Working from Home in order to highlight which areas are thriving and which are struggling during the pandemic.
To identify which states are most conducive to working from home, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. The data set ranges from the share of workers working from home before COVID-19 to internet cost and cybersecurity. They also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in the state. Together, these metrics show how feasible working from home is in terms of cost, comfort and safety.
The Best States for Working from Home
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The Worst States for Working from Home
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island
- North Dakota
- Colorado has the highest share of the labor force working from home, 7.70 percent, which is 3.3 times higher than in Mississippi, the state with the lowest at 2.30 percent.
- Connecticut has the highest share of households with access to broadband speeds over 25 Mbps, 98.70 percent, which is 1.5 times higher than in Mississippi, the state with the lowest at 65.40 percent.
- South Dakota has the fewest cybercrime victims per 100,000 residents, 54.73, which is four times fewer than in Nevada, the state with the most at 218.31.
- North Dakota has the lowest residential retail price of electricity, 9.01 cents per kWh, which is 3.5 times lower than in Hawaii, the state with the highest at 31.70 cents per kWh.
- Maine has the highest cybersecurity, while Alaska has the lowest.
- California has the lowest internet cost, while New Hampshire has the highest.
Q&A with WalletHub
Why is Delaware the best state for working from home? Why does Alaska rank the lowest?
“Delaware is the best state for working from home due in part to the fact that the state provides a comfortable environment for working remotely, with the sixth largest average home square footage. In addition, nearly 97 percent of households in Delaware have internet speeds above 25Mbps,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Plus, Delaware has one of the highest percentages of people who could potentially work from home, so many workers can take advantage of these good remote work conditions.”
“One reason Alaska ranks lowest for working from home is that only around 68 percent of the population has broadband internet access. In addition, Alaska has the fifth lowest share of potential telecommuters, ” said Gonzalez. “On top of that, Alaska is the lowest ranked state when it comes to cybersecurity and has the fourth highest cost of electricity in the nation. For many people, working from home in Alaska will be difficult, costly and risky.”
What can people who have never worked from home before do to make the transition smooth?
“People who are working from home for the first time should treat it the same way as they would going to their place of work normally. They should continue to follow their daily work routine, just without the commute,” said Gonzalez. “It’s important for workers to be punctual and minimize the amount of distractions around them from things in their house that wouldn’t be at work, such as a TV. However, workers could consider getting a little extra sleep or having a better breakfast in the time they normally would have spent commuting.”
For help transitioning to working from home, read our post on staying productive while working from home.