There are three letters that are known to incite a good amount of enthusiasm in many an office: WFH. (Which stands for: work from home, of course.)
In a world where we increasingly rely on online communication, there’s often no reason that most employees can’t pull this off successfully. Sure, there’s a loss of face-to-face collaboration and a likelihood that you may get the mail in your pajamas, but tools such as HipChat, GChat, and Slack encourage conversation—and basically force you to be a part of the discussion, no matter where you are.
But according to a recent study by FlexJobs, the chance to work from your sofa with the dog resting at your feet may depend largely on where you live. While plenty of offices in big cities have employees who work virtually one or two set days a week, if you’re looking to telecommute full-time, you might consider moving to Montana or Oregon. Inc., which covered the study, reports that in Colorado, 6.5% of people do it, and in Vermont (is there a snowy-state pattern emerging?) that number is 7.1.
What’s interesting about this is that the 10 states where you’re most likely to find a full- or part-time telecommuting gig are ones that are not densely populated (Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah all made the list).
The northwest is another area of the country where WFH is popular, as both Washington and Oregon have a substantial percentage of people who do it. But, if you prefer sun over rain, you might consider moving to Arizona, which reports that 5.7% of its population telecommutes.
If you don’t live in one of the above-mentioned states (or New Hampshire), don’t start packing your bags just yet. Obtaining WFH permission from your boss may be as easy as having a candid conversation where you state your interest in working remotely one day a week (or less often if it’s not something that your company regularly allows).
And, if you’re in the negotiation status of a job offer, you might consider inquiring about a WFH day as part of the whole package. This can be an especially good negotiating tool when the salary being offered is not where you want it to be.
I should know. My former boss granted me a WFH day after several rounds of salary negotiations. As a person who thrives in a quiet environment, I got so much more work done from my couch—and I also got to spend the time I would have been commuting sleeping. It’s not for everyone, but when it works, it really works.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author