A new study sets out to determine the most remote-friendly workplaces in the United States.

A new study sets out to determine the most remote-friendly workplaces in the United States. 


One of the many ways the pandemic has shifted our culture is more companies have shifted the workforce from daily grind of the office to employees working from home. While the nature of the beauty and grooming services mean they must be performed face to face, most salons and barbershops carry on as they have before the pandemic. But because more of their clients work remotely, there's is more flexibility in scheduling appontments which has lessened the pressure on Saturdays and evened out the demand during normal workdays. But understanding how this shift is impacting you means understanding how remote-friendly your city is. 

A new study carried out by IT Service Management Company SysAid analyzed data from the latest American Community Survey for 938 micropolitan and metropolitan areas in the United States between 2015 and 202 for civilian workers aged 16 and above. 

Here are the key findings from the study: 

  • Vineyard Haven (MA), Faribault-Northfield (MN) and Truckee-Grass Valley (CA) are the very best places in the US for remote work.
  • Compared to pre-pandemic levels, remote working in US cities increased by 23.8%.
  • 70.2% jobs in urban areas could partially move operations remotely.
  • DC, Colorado and Oregon have the highest proportion of remote workers.
  • The worst states for working remotely are Mississippi, Puerto Rico and Louisiana.

Vineyard Haven in Massachusetts is the best place in the US for remote work, where 17.7% of employees aged 16 and over reported working from home. Faribault-Northfield, Minnesota, and Truckee-Grass Valley, California, follow closely behind, with 16.6% and 16.2% remote workers, respectively.

Conversely, less than 1% of the jobs in Dumas (Texas), Atmore (Alabama), Magnolia (Arkansas) and Blytheville (Arkansas) are home-based. These are the worst cities in the US for offering remote employment opportunities.

The researchers discovered that, on average, only 5.35% jobs in US cities were remote, including in the first year of the pandemic. However, employers in urban areas still took a significant leap towards remote working.

Compared to the five-year period before the pandemic, 23.84% more people switched to working from home. This represents five times more than the previous period, when the yearly pace at which people were switching to remote working was of 4.67%.

DC, Colorado and Oregon are the top three most remote-friendly US jurisdictions, with 12.3%, 10.8% and 9.4% remote workers respectively. Meanwhile, the worst states on record for adopting remote working are Mississippi (3%), Puerto Rico (3.1%) and Louisiana (4.2%).

SysAid also analysed which industries in all US urban areas could move partly or largely towards remote work. The research shows that, while 10.6% of the jobs in sectors like agriculture, mining and construction require mostly an on-site presence, 70.2% could partially be done remotely. Another 19.2% of industries, such as information, professional, scientific and administration services, could easily accommodate to moving most of their operations off-site.

A spokesperson for SysAid commented on the findings: “It is very surprising that, on average, only one in 20 American city dwellers works remotely. We expected this number to be much higher, considering the importance of social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic. Industries such as finance, insurance and most professional consulting could easily adopt a remote work model with the right IT system in place. Even industries like manufacturing can automate chain supply processes more efficiently, for example, so that more employees can manage tasks from any computer. Similarly, all admin jobs can easily be streamlined through better ticketing automation, with one centralized hub to connect across all departments to offer flawless customer service. Having worked with small to Fortune 500 companies along the years, we have found that education, healthcare, manufacturing and HR are the most convertible sectors towards remote or hybrid work models.”

Micro/Metro Area

16+ remote workers (%)

Vineyard Haven, MA


Faribault-Northfield, MN


Truckee-Grass Valley, CA


Boulder, CO


Clearlake, CA


Brookings, OR


Heber, UT


Hood River, OR


Ruidoso, NM


Bend, OR


Hailey, ID


Breckenridge, CO


Taos, NM


Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX


Steamboat Springs, CO


Fairfield, IA


Raleigh-Cary, NC


Durango, CO


Edwards, CO


Fort Collins, CO


Fort Leonard Wood, MO


Bennington, VT


Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO


Rockport, TX


The Villages, FL


Ithaca, NY


Jackson, WY-ID


Lawton, OK


San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA


Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA



About SysAid: SysAid is a Service Management company that provides software for IT teams to control all aspects of service management. From ticket sorting through workflows that eliminate the need for manual repetitive tasks, and empowering users to resolve common IT issues, SysAid service automation enables faster service, lighter workloads, and a smoother experience for admins and users alike. And beyond IT, wherever there is a service—from HR to Procurement—SysAid makes things run smarter. With over 5,000 customers, SysAid partners with organizations ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises across 140 countries.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.