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April 12, 2021

The best (and worst) states for teleworking, according to WalletHub

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    As many Americans continue working from home amid Covid-19, WalletHub last week released its Best States for Working from Home list, with Delaware ranking as the best for working from home and Alaska ranking as the worst.

    Toolkit: Manager's guide to leading remotely through Covid-19


    For the list, WalletHub assessed all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 12 metrics across two categories: work environment and living environment.

    For the work environment category, which comprised up to 60 points of a state's final score, WalletHub looked at four factors:

    • Share of people working from home before the Covid-19 epidemic;
    • Share of potential telecommuters;
    • Household internet access; and
    • Cybersecurity.

    For the living environment category, which accounted for up to 40 points of a state's final score, WalletHub looked at eight factors:

    • Average retail price of electricity;
    • Access to low-priced internet plans;
    • Cost of internet;
    • Median square footage per average number of persons in a household;
    • Share of detached housing units;
    • Average home square footage;
    • Share of for sale homes with a lot greater than 1,000 square feet; and
    • Share of for sale homes with a swimming pool.

    WalletHub graded states on each metric on a 100-point scale. Researchers then calculated a weighted average across all metrics to determine each state's overall score and ranking.

    The best and worst states for working from home

    The five best states for working from home, according to WalletHub, are:

    1. Delaware;
    2. North Carolina;
    3. Georgia;
    4. New Hampshire; and
    5. Tennessee.

    Meanwhile, the five worst states for working from home, according to WalletHub, are:

    1. Alaska;
    2. Hawaii;
    3. North Dakota;
    4. Mississippi; and
    5. Arkansas.

    How to work from home successfully

    WalletHub asked a group of experts what steps individuals can take to successfully transition to a work from home environment amid the pandemic.

    Joseph Mazzola, an associate professor of psychology and director of the industrial/organizational psychology MA program at Meredith College, said it's important to "separate your workspace from your 'home space,'" so as to avoid "blur[ring] the line between work and family and make it impossible to ever take a break from either."

    He added, "Even if all you can do is put the desk and computer in a corner with an invisible barrier, do your best to create something that is strictly for work and that your roommates, spouse, and kids know should not be breached during work times."

    In addition, Mazzola suggested maintaining a normal work routine as much as possible when working from home. For example, if you typically wake up, shower, and get dressed in professional clothes, "then you should do that before going up to your 'workspace,'" as this can help you further separate work life from home life.

    Similarly, Yemisi Awotoye, assistant professor of management at Gonzaga University, also recommended maintaining a work routine every morning. "As a practical guide, develop a habit that involves getting ready and dressed in comfortable work-appropriate clothes and having breakfast before getting started with work," she said, adding that you should also keep a water bottle at your desk and plan for a lunch break just as you would at the office (McCann, WalletHub, 4/6).

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    For many managers, the last few years brought new and unprecedented workplace challenges. Some managers may have shifted from in-person to virtual management, while others may be managing teams working in environments that present new risks to health.

    But in 2022 it's time for a fresh start. Download the slide decks from our recent webinar series to learn how to:

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