Study rates Grand Rapids as tough city for working from home

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A new report shows Grand Rapids is not becoming one of the nation’s remote work “Zoom towns.”

A recent report from RetailMeNot, “The Best Cities to Work From Home,” rated Grand Rapids-Kentwood as a “tough city to work from home,” with an overall work-from-home score of 72.53 on a 100-point scale.

The report looked at the phenomenon known as “Zoom towns” — areas experiencing population booms during the pandemic by attracting well-educated laptop workers with the region’s attractive amenities.

To determine the best locations to work from home, researchers at RetailMeNot ranked cities with populations over 100,000 and states based on several metrics related to community and safety, housing and living costs, and health and weather.

In general, the researchers wanted to identify the most affordable locations with low crime rates, good weather for outdoor recreation and well-educated, healthy populations, among other factors.

Data was sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Centers for Environment Information, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau to create a composite score for each city.

The analysis found the Grand Rapids area ranked average in community and safety, average in housing and living costs, and below average in health and weather.

Grand Rapids scores

  • Overall work-from-home score: 72.53
  • Community and safety: 71.78
  • Housing and living costs: 79.59
  • Health and weather: 66.24

Top 10 best cities to work from home

  1. Gilbert, Arizona (91.04 overall work-from-home score)
  2. Cary, North Carolina (88.55)
  3. Frisco, Texas (87.73)
  4. Bellevue, Washington (87.59)
  5. Fremont, California (86.94)
  6. Carmel, Indiana (86.86)
  7. Thousand Oaks, California (86.71)
  8. Centennial, Colorado (86.21)
  9. Torrance, California (85.38)
  10. Olathe, Kansas (85.32)

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