Telecommuting isn’t just an effective work model for profitable businesses—it’s also an economic improvement strategy for federal, state, and local governments. The remote work states we discuss in this article understand the value of telecommuting and provide incentives for telecommute employees and the businesses that hire them.
Remote Work States: 7 Locations That Incentivize Telecommuting
In 2010, the Telework Enhancement Act was signed into law to help governmental agencies and their employees achieve cost savings and better work-life balance. However, that legislation only applies to federal employees, and most states developed their own policies to manage their remote state workforces. Private-sector employers and workers aren’t included in the provisions, so businesses are tasked to create their own policies and programs.
Over the years, some states and cities have recognized the need to attract telecommuters as part of their overall strategy to increase employment and economic activity in their jurisdiction. Such governments lead the way for private-sector initiatives that benefit both employers and employees. Consider this list of remote work incentive programs during your next telecommute job search.
In 2018, Vermont instituted a Remote Worker Grant Program, where full-time telecommute employees can earn up to $10,000 for relocation expenses. There are some stipulations, of course. To apply to the program, telecommuters must be a:
- Full-time employee who works for a company based outside of Vermont
- Resident of Vermont as of January 1, 2019
Sorry, freelancers and seasonal workers – this gig isn’t for you. You have to be a full-time employee and work for a company located outside the state of Vermont. So, don’t try looking for remote jobs within the state or it may not work. Instead, check out these top telecommute companies with headquarters elsewhere that hire full-time employees year-round:
- Equifax – A credit reporting and solutions agency with headquarters in Georgia.
- Symantec Corporation – A computer security and software company based in California.
- Syneos Health – A healthcare support and consulting company headquartered in North Carolina.
Check out more job ideas for remote workers who want to relocate to Vermont. Also, be sure to review Vermont’s Small Business Fact Sheet for Home Occupations just in case your line of work falls within the state’s permitting requirements.
Jobseeker Tip: If you’re currently a Vermont resident looking for remote work, according to the Vermont Department of Labor, occupations related to sales, office and administrative support, and personal care and service have the most job openings annually. They also found that occupations like home health aides, software developers, nurse practitioners, and operations research analysts are among the fastest growing in the state. Therefore, telecommute jobs in the Business Operations, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Sales categories might be worth checking out.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation is a generous non-profit organization that’s paying telecommuters $10,000 to relocate to Tulsa, Okla. To qualify for the Tulsa Remote program, you have to:
- Be at least 18 years of age and legally allowed to work in the U.S.
- Complete a formal application process, including video interviews and an in-person visit.
- Be able to move to Tulsa within six months of acceptance and stay there for at least one year.
In addition to $10K in cash, you also receive a housing stipend and coworking membership. Though it seems you can leave after your time is up, Tulsa hopes to lure you in longer with its incredible outdoor spaces, events, and trendy nightlife.
If you already live in Tulsa, however, you do not qualify for the incentive. Regardless of where you reside, you can always find remote jobs with top telecommute companies like:
- Dell – A world-renowned technology company with headquarters in Texas.
- K12, Inc. – A leading public and private online education provider based in Virginia.
- UnitedHealth Group – An international healthcare provider headquartered in Minnesota.
Jobseeker Tip: For this particular program, you’ll want to prepare an excellent application that demonstrates your passion for telecommuting and steadfast career goals. You may even want to spruce up your resumé and LinkedIn profile while you’re at it. Consider seeking counsel from our Career Services team to keep all your remote work applications sharp.
Utah has a hard time keeping educated workers in the state, as many leave to pursue careers and gain experience and further education. Additionally, job growth has slowed recently, especially in the construction and manufacturing fields, which persuaded leaders to consider modernized employment solutions in rural areas.
The state has dedicated $2 million to educating individuals about remote work and helping them find sustainable telecommute employment. So, if you live in rural Utah and are looking for a work-at-home job or occupation with a flexible schedule, you can take advantage of this initiative. Though you don’t get any cash directly, you do gain valuable workplace insight and coaches who can help you secure a reliable position.
Here are some employers in the Virtual Vocations Company Database that top the charts when it comes to hiring remote workers:
- CyraCom – The nation’s leading language translation headquartered in Arizona.
- Oracle Corporation – A top information technology enterprise with its main office in California.
- Western Governors University (WGU) – A renown online university based out of Salt Lake.
Jobseeker Tip: The Utah Department of Workforce Services predicts significant job growth in healthcare and social assistance, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services through 2026. They’re also optimistic about job openings related to office and administrative support, education and training, management, and business and financial operations. If these fields align with your career skills or interests, be sure to search for postings in the Administrative, Education, Financial, and Management categories in the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Job Database.
Businesses in Virginia that promote a telecommute program could receive up to $50,000 in tax credits for spending at most $1,200 in telework-related expenses for each employee. Though companies receive this incentive, remote workers can benefit by getting brand new equipment or other job-related items.
To qualify for a tax credit through the Telework!VA program:
- Employees must have entered a telecommute agreement on or after July 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2022.
- Businesses can spend at most $1,200 per employee on expenses, such as computers, internet connection, and software.
- Businesses must conduct telework assessments, and they can receive at most $20,000 toward telework assessment costs, including creating policies and procedures, creating telework program plans and metrics, and training.
- Businesses must complete and turn in all necessary forms between September 1 and October 31 for the year they wish to receive tax credits. So, to earn credits for the 2019 tax year, turn in the forms between September 1 and October 31, 2019.
What does all this mean for telecommute jobseekers? To potentially receive office expense support, consider searching for jobs with companies located in Virginia, such as:
- Hilton Worldwide – An international hospitality corporation headquartered in McLean.
- ICF International, Inc. – A strategic consulting firm located in Fairfax.
- Leidos – An information technology research and development company based in Reston.
Jobseeker Tip: If you’re looking for tax advantages for yourself, you might think about working as an independent contractor. Though contractors have to pay for their own healthcare insurance, retirement planning, and estimated quarterly self-employment taxes, they can also deduct home office expenses, such as computers, software subscriptions, business supplies, and even a portion of their internet bill and rent or mortgage. Check with a professional tax preparer for guidance on the advantages and disadvantages related to freelance or independent contract jobs.
The following remote work states deserve recognition for their effort to promote telecommuting within their workforces. Though some of these programs have expired, and some haven’t passed through legislation yet, these states help encourage other governments to incentivize remote work for their residents.
Senate Bill 6016 was introduced and discussed in 2017-2018 to give businesses up to $250 in tax credits for each remote employee who telecommutes at least 12 days per month, with a maximum credit of $10,000 per year. The tax credit amounts were reduced from $500 per employee and $20,000 maximum, as stated in the original bill. On January 30, 2018, the bill was referred to Ways and Means, who considers budgets, tax policies, and other financial aspects of legislation, but no further updates are available. If enacted, the bill is set to expire on July 1, 2023.
6. New Jersey
New Jersey used to have a program called Smart Moves to encourage workers to pursue alternative commuting methods, including telecommuting. They provided support for setting up telecommuting programs and gave tax credits to businesses who hired telecommuters. The tax credit started on January 1, 2002, and the program has since expired.
Georgia’s Commuters Choice tax benefits program offers financial incentives to both employers and employees for using alternative commute modes, such as carpooling, cleaner transportation vehicles, or evading transport all together by working remotely. They also provided income tax credits for employers who employed telecommuters between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2012. Additionally, the state continues to host an annual Georgia Telework Week, which includes cash prizes and financial incentives to switch to telecommuting and other more sustainable commute options.
More Reasons to Try Telecommuting
Tax credits and reimbursements are great, but the real incentive to try remote work is the lifestyle that telecommuting provides. You can’t beat flexible hours, attending virtual meetings in your pajamas, and avoiding rush hour every day. Plus, telecommute roles pay just as much as in-office positions, so you don’t have to sacrifice pay or benefits for a more comfortable work environment.
Check it out yourself! Browse through the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Job Database for postings related to your occupation or industry. Use the search filters to tailor your results to your background, preferences, and career goals. When you’re ready to apply, sign up as a member and start submitting your resumé to employers. As a member, you’ll also receive email job alerts based on your search criteria so that you can apply to jobs as soon as their posted.
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Were you surprised by any of these remote work states that incentivize telecommuting? Did your state make the list? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to tell us about the telecommute job you want. We’d love to hear from you and help you in your remote job search!
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