A hermit thrush 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 work employee interested in moving to my beautiful state for money?”
Remote Work Jobs in Vermont
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 from home or in a co-working space as full-time residents. The money is intended to cover the cost of relocation and settling into a remote work dynamic.
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 work from home program, but the details are still being hashed out.
There's Value in Working from Home
Once upon a time, working from home was inconceivable in most industries. Now, with state-of-the-art communication technology and an increased desire among today’s workforce to have jobs from home, 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 remote work programs. Similarly, there are some industries – like education, healthcare, and training – where remote work 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 work programs.
In 2012, Gallup’s research suggested that employees 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 from home.
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