No, Most Remote Employees Aren't Working on the Beach. This Survey Reveals Where They Actually Live. The urban exodus was real — but many white-collar workers never left.
But according to data from the 2021 edition of the American Community Survey, working from home doesn't mean working from the beach. In fact, many remote workers didn't go far from major metropolitan areas.
So, even though many Americans are embracing remote work — and want even more of it, per McKinsey — it's not impacting where they choose to live as much as one might expect.
Urban neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Seattle; New York; and Chicago snagged some of the top spots, with work-from-home rates of 56.6% (Central), 56.2% (Inner Mission and Castro), 55.2% (Queen Ann and Magnolia), 53.3% (Park Slope and others) and 50.5% (Lake View and Lincoln Park), respectively.
Overall, working from home in exurbs and mountain resorts remains less common.
El Dorado County, California; Bainbridge Island and Silverdale, Washington; Windsor Town, Healdsburg and Sonoma, California; and Santa Fe, New Mexico ranking highly at 25.2%, 24.9%, 24.9%, and 24.3%, respectively.
Per Bloomberg, the pandemic did cause an urban exodus, increasing demand for houses in exurbs and mountain resorts — but most white-collar workers remained.