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Golden State earns mid-level ‘work from home’ status
Home work
A new study indicates the work from home option continues to be utilized in many states; New Jersey was rated as the best state to work from home while Alaska was the worst; California ranked near the middle at number 29.

With a large segment of the workforce working from home at least part of the time, the personal-finance website WalletHub on April 8 released its report on the Best States for Working from Home, as well as expert commentary, showing where people can save the most money and be most comfortable while working remotely. California came in ranked 29th, sandwiched in between South Carolina at number 28 and New York, which ranked 30th.

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 to internet cost and cybersecurity. The study also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in each state. Together, these metrics show how feasible working from home is in terms of cost, comfort and safety.


Working from Home in California (1=Best, 25=Avg.)

Overall Rank: 29th

10th – Share of Population Working from Home

36th – Share of Potential Telecommuters

13th – Households’ Internet Access

37th – Average Home Square Footage

51st – Cybersecurity

49th – Average Retail Price of Electricity

13th – Internet Cost

“Working from home can save people a lot of money on transportation expenses, as well as make their work environment a lot more comfortable and their hours more flexible. However, things like energy costs, internet speed, home sizes and how many people live together can greatly impact people’s savings and productivity. While work-from-home jobs can be done anywhere, certain states make the practice much better than others,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub Analyst. “New Jersey is the best state for working from home, in part due to the fact that it has some of the cheapest internet prices in the country and very high access to broadband internet. Around 13 percent of New Jersey’s workforce currently works from home, but over 96 percent of the workforce has the potential to telecommute.”

The survey lists New Jersey, Utah, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia as the top five ‘work from home’ states. The bottom five were South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas, Montana and Alaska.

For the full report, visit:


Expert Commentary

What is the work-from-home outlook for 2024 and beyond?

“While many employers are trying to convince employees to return to work, most employees want to work in a hybrid or flexible way. A full return to the office plan does not seem feasible for organizations that are struggling to determine how to divest from physical office space. In other words, work from home is here to stay, and companies should lean into the trend as opposed to trying to return to prior ways of working.”

Katina Sawyer, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, University of Arizona


“Work-from-home will only continue to increase in 2024 and beyond. This is because organizations that allow remote work options will increase the available talent pool for positions and perhaps have a better capacity to attract top talent. Not only that, but organizations are recognizing that remote work and other flexible options can increase employee productivity and performance, engagement, and satisfaction with the organization leading to reduced turnover.”

Katrina A. Burch, Ph.D. – Associate Professor; Director, Industrial-Organizational Psychology Graduate Program, Western Kentucky University


What are the most important advantages and disadvantages of working from home?

“Well, it depends on whether you are referring to the employee or the organization. For the employee, one advantage, of course, is time. With commuting, there is the time spent on the commute, but also the potential frustrations of traffic, and these frustrations can drain people’s energetic and cognitive resources that they can put toward work. A second advantage of working at home would be the ability to concentrate without interruptions, which of course can be very beneficial for creative or knowledge workers because it makes it significantly more likely that they will be able to achieve a state of flow, where they are completely immersed in their work. An important disadvantage is that it is much more difficult to build a culture of trust and close personal relationships when employees are completely remote. A closely related disadvantage is that when employees need help with (or advice about) their work, there is a lot more coordination that is required when people are not co-located. What these advantages and disadvantages suggest, of course, is the benefit of hybrid arrangements, because employees have the opportunity to build close relationships when they are in the office, but all the time and concentration-related benefits on the days they work at home.”

Jerel E. Slaughter – Professor, The University of Arizona


“From an employee perspective, there obviously are many advantages, including eliminating lost time commuting and gaining a certain amount of flexibility as to when and how the work gets done. I have worked remotely since 1991, and have found that my productivity has been far higher than it otherwise would have been in a traditional work setting. That is due, in part, to a vast reduction in unproductive meetings, expanded ability to concentrate on work, elimination of commuting time, and a better home life. As for disadvantages for employees, I think the key is: Are you missing out on the personal connections that can help lead to advancement in the company? Meanwhile, employers that welcome working mobile have a major advantage in getting and keeping talented employees. A key challenge that could be a disadvantage is sorting out which employees have the right attitude, discipline, and work ethic to work remotely. That can be difficult. Working remotely is not for everyone. Also, employers have to be able to explain why certain employees are allowed to work remotely, while others need to be in a more traditional work setting.”

Raymond J. Keating – Chief Economist, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


Does working from home affect employee engagement in any way, if any?

“Engagement may be enhanced as a result of the increased autonomy and flexibility associated with working from home. There may also be a chance for greater focus in this environment, without the distractions of an in-office environment. However, social isolation and communication challenges can negatively affect engagement. It may also be the case some employees have more distractions at home than in the office, depending on their circumstances.”

Shannon Marlow, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at San Antonio


“For a strong company with engaged workers, working from home should not adversely affect employee engagement. However, for a company that does not have a strong culture in place or is working to build one, working from home may present challenges for employee engagement because of fewer touch points and more impersonal communication channels (email v. hallway conversations). Ultimately successful companies will figure out how to replicate the drivers of employee engagement from the office setting and adapt them to work from home.”

Patrick Flynn – Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University