With COVID-19 turning home into the workplace nationwide, the personal-finance website WalletHub on Monday released its report on the Best States for Working from Home, as well as accompanying videos, in order to highlight which areas are thriving and which are struggling in this pandemic economy.
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. We 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. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
|Best States for Working from Home||Worst States for Working from Home|
|1. Delaware||42. District of Columbia|
|2. Washington||43. Wyoming|
|3. New Hampshire||44. Iowa|
|4. Colorado||45. Rhode Island|
|5. Georgia||46. North Dakota|
|6. Arizona||47. Oklahoma|
|7. Utah||48. Arkansas|
|8. Oregon||49. Mississippi|
|9. North Carolina||50. Hawaii|
|10. South Dakota||51. Alaska|
- 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.
- New Hampshire has the highest share of households with a broadband internet subscription, 78.80 percent, which is 1.7 times higher than in Mississippi, the state with the lowest at 46.80 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.
- Indiana has the lowest amount lost per victim as a result of internet crime, $2,465.73, which is 11.5 times lower than in Ohio, the state with the highest at $28,394.32.
- 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.
To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:
Q&A with WalletHub
Why is Delaware the best state for working from home?
“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.”
Why does Alaska rank lowest for working from home?
“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 Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “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 Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “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.”
Should companies allow their employees to work from home?
“Yes, companies should allow their employees to work from home, if possible. Not only does that help to minimize virus transmission, but it also preserves jobs that might have otherwise been lost,” said Jill Gonzales, WalletHub analyst. “Companies that can conduct their business online also have a better chance of staying afloat during the pandemic. In addition, while keeping employees on the payroll working from home may be hard on the company’s finances during the pandemic, the government is offering loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to help with that problem.”
More on COVID-19 from WalletHub