RALEIGH – North Carolina has another accolade to use when recruiting businesses to locate here in these pandemic times: The state ranks No. 2 for “Best Working from Home” in a new study from financial information site WalletHub.
That’s important since as WalletHub notes more than 70% of workers continue to telework from home for their jobs.
The state, which ranks ninth in terms of population and topped the 2020 list for best business climate by Site Selection magazine, came in just behind Delaware based on a wide variety of data utilized by WalletHub for the study.
And a professor at Meredith College in Raleigh doesn’t see companies returning soon to an in-office work strategy.
“[C]companies will be looking to get their employees back in the workplace once the pandemic is over, but I think it will look much different,” said Joe Mazzola, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology MA Program.
For example, IBM expects most of its employees to operate in a hybrid environment: work from home and in the office.
“Remote working will be more accepted and prevalent than it was pre-COVID in part because of employee expectations. They have just proven for a year they can be productive from home, so why should not they have the option to do so when it is convenient for them and they do not have anything demanding their attention at the office,” Mazzola told WalletHub. “I think ultimately the workplace will be more ‘fluid,’ with employees moving from office space to homework throughout the week and even throughout the day much more than previously seen. If this happens, I think it will be very fascinating to see what the research will find about how this affects things like productivity, employee engagement, and work-life balance. To answer the original question, I think companies should and will put more resources towards employees working from home effectively. I personally believe this will happen in part because they will be looking at ways to reduce the cost of their in-person work infrastructure (i.e., can we rent/own less office space, reduce lighting and heating costs, use office and desk shares for fewer furniture needs).”
North Carolina ranked 16th for telework before the pandemic struck a year ago, according to WalletHub.
“The data set ranges from the share of workers working from home before COVID-19 to internet cost and cybersecurity,” WalletHub reported. “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.”
North Carolina’s rankings:
Working from Home in North Carolina (1=Best, 25=Avg.)
- 16th – Share of Population Working from Home (pre-COVID-19)
- 28th – Share of Potential Telecommuters
- 19th – Households’ Internet Access
- 5th – Average Home Square Footage
- 10th – Cybersecurity
- 12th – Average Retail Price of Electricity