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New Jersey among the best states to work from home: Report

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A new report from WalletHub breaks down the best and worst states to work remotely.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

DAVE BRIGGS: Welcome back. Are you still working from home like myself or Rachelle, or are you back in the office? If you're still home, the folks at WalletHub have compiled a list of the best, as well as the worst, states to work from home. And it's hard to really wrap your arms around how states ended up on top versus the bottom. They use 12 factors, including cost of internet, cybersecurity, work, and living environment.

Number one on the list of best places to work from home, New Jersey. What's interesting about that is, DC is next. Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts round out the top five. So when you look at it, it looks like the Northeast, where people just tend to be working from home because of higher COVID concentration, that seems to be the list-- the top.

Rachelle, here's what I can't figure out. DC is the number one work environment, the number 50 living environment. You are apparently the worst of all the states in terms of living. Now, before I get your reaction to that, the-- the lowest three have very little in common. Montana and North Dakota, same region, but then number 50 is Mississippi-- complete opposite end of the country. So all I can factor in is, those states where people just really didn't work from home, those are on the bottom of the list. But what do you make of DC having the 50th score for living environment?

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Oh, yeah, I could believe that. But look, not to be-- no, not to be shady, but so-- so a couple of things going on here. So in this study, they did give more weight to your working environment. That one was weighted at 60 points versus your living environment, which [? was ?] [? weighted ?] at 40 points, which probably pushed DC up higher. You also have to keep in mind, DC actually had the largest share of people working from home, even before the pandemic. So I think they were already in a better position.

But you know, you don't have a lot of space, and, as you mentioned, they factor in things like how much space you have and-- and whether or not you share a space with people. So when-- so when you factor all those things in, I understand that DC did come out higher in terms of telecommuting. We're obviously all about our buses and our-- and our Ubers and everything else. And so I think that's why they probably weighted it a little bit heavier. And I noticed Maryland, obviously just next door, also came in in the top 10 as well, where you have a lot more space but then a longer commute. So I think once you sort of balance out the factors, it does make sense that DC is up near the top there.

BRAD SMITH: Those worst states to work from were not surprising at all-- Alaska, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota. I mean, you look down the list here, and it really gives you a question mark of, if work from home does continue in some capacity or a hybrid work environment for those states, are they going to come up with any different type of resolution at the end of the day? And I think it really comes down to what operators are there. Arkansas really stuck out to me because that's where Walmart is headquartered.

And so with all of this in mind, it really just comes down to that employer-employee relationship and then ensuring that at the end of the day, that everybody's connected. But we're also, many of us, making our way back into these office and the IRL touchpoints that we've had pre-pandemic, and so we'll see what that re-emergence looks like. And perhaps for the people in Alaska, that is very much welcome at this point in time.