Would you move to Vermont for $10k?

You’re visiting Vermont on a November weekend. A magnificent hermit thrush flutters gingerly above the quintessential autumn scenery, and spots you hiking outside Waterbury after your visit to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. He swoops down and lands on the snow-swept path in front of you. “Say human,” he begins in a charming New England accent, “are you an out-of-state remote employee interested in moving to my beautiful state for money?”

Alas, the state bird of Vermont can’t speak English. But the rest is true: thanks to Bill S-0094 recently passed in the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Phil Scott, Vermont is offering up to $10,000 for full-time employees of a business outside the state to move there on or after January 1st, 2019, and work remotely from a home office or co-working space as full-time residents. The money is intended to cover the cost of relocation and settling into a remote workspace.

The Green Mountain State ranks 50th among all other states and the District of Columbia in total population. And while Vermont does have nearly 13 million visitors each year, the government wants folks to stick around. This isn’t the first move the state has made to attract workers. Noting that Vermont is home to 16,000 fewer workers than in 2009, Governor Scott recently announced the Stay to Stay Weekends lodging and networking initiative which hopes to “connect guests to employers, entrepreneurs, and potential neighbors in local communities.”

Contrary to some of the early buzz – no – you can’t just pack your bags, move to Vermont, and pick up a check for $10,000. The state’s general fund is appropriating $125,000 in 2019, $250,000 in 2020, and $125,000 in 2021 towards the program, but the details are still being hashed out.

Working Remote: The Value of Work-Life Balance

Once upon a time, working full time from home was inconceivable. Now, with state-of-the-art communications technology and an increased desire among today’s workforce on work-life flexibility, organizations are trying to find the right balance on remote opportunities.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report, the number of workers who spent at least some of their time working remotely increased from 39% in 2012 to 43% in 2016. Likewise, employees who spent “80% or more” of their time working remote increased from 24% in 2012 to 31% in 2016.

Wishing to improve teamwork and collaboration, some companies – like Yahoo, Best Buy, and Bank of America – have scaled back on work-from-home programs. Similarly, there are some industries – like education, healthcare, and training – where remote opportunities don’t make as much sense. But opportunities to work from home have increased across several other industries, with folks in the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors seeing the greatest increase in remote programs.

In 2012, Gallup’s research suggested that workers were most engaged when they worked remotely less than 20% of the time. In 2016, Gallup’s research suggested that workers are most engaged when they spend three or even four days – 60% to 80% of a five-day workweek – working remotely.


Don't plan to work remote, but considering a move? Check out the going rates for your position in Vermont, and anywhere else in the U.S., with our salary calculator:

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