Remote work can open doors when location isn’t a concern. Moving closer to family, pursuing a lower cost of living or visiting loved ones for an extended period are all possible when you can work wherever you please.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, working remotely may very well continue to be the new normal for many workers. To learn more about what it would be like to work remotely in Florida, MagnifyMoney researchers created six weighted categories — from home size to internet availability to safety — to rank the places in the Sunshine State that are best for remote workers.
MagnifyMoney analysts ranked every municipality and U.S. Census-designated place in Florida with a population of at least 5,000 people. This is what our analysts found.
Ranking as the best place for remote workers in Florida is Belle Isle, the “beautiful island.” Among the top five, Belle Isle — in Orange County — shines when it comes to its home cost score.
The median home value (owner-estimated) and median rent in Belle Isle is $312,900 and $867, respectively, compared with:
Belle Isle’s median home value is second-highest among this group, but its median rent is far lower than the rest (and nearly half than that of Lake Butler). And homes in Belle Isle have a median of 6.5 rooms, so that’s plenty of room to set up a home office and earn money to put in your savings account.
If you like to relax and unwind by hitting the golf course on weekends, Rio Pinar and its country club could be right for you. There are other options in Orange County, too, as 94% of residents have access to exercise opportunities.
When it comes to finding the right place to live, 100% of homes in this census-designated place are single family and detached. That could provide more opportunities to be outdoors and be socially distant amid a global pandemic.
Calling all golf fans: If Rio Pinar isn’t right for you, Wedgefield could be another option about 20 miles to the east, still within Orange County.
Similar to Rio Pinar, 97.4% of the homes within this unincorporated area are single family and detached, so there’s opportunity to spread out with a median of 6.6 rooms. Did we mention that Wedgefield has an average of 236 sunny days a year?
Orange County, with Conway at No. 4, continues to clean up in our top five best places for remote workers in Florida. While the safety score is county-based — and would be the same for the previous places mentioned since they’re all in Orange County — here are some highlights.
In Orange County, there are:
This means that despite higher-than-average violent crime incidents, Conway made up ground in other categories, including climate change impact.
Lake Butler and Oviedo tie for fifth place on our list of best places for remote workers in Florida with an overall score of 80.4.
It may be difficult to choose which city has more to offer, but if you’re a workaholic at heart, you’ll appreciate that Lake Butler sails past Oviedo when it comes to internet availability. In Lake Butler, 90.8% of people have either cable, fiber or DSL, the highest among the top five.
Oviedo is in Seminole County, making it the only place among the top five not in Orange County. Compared to the Orange County locations, Oviedo and Seminole County stand out in the safety category:
Oviedo, with nearly 39,600 residents, has the highest population among the top five places.
While remote working is all the rage these days, some workers may be eagerly awaiting the return to their workplace. Working remotely isn’t for everybody, but it does have some undeniable benefits. Not having to commute saves both time and money, you can enjoy casual Friday every day and working from home can make it easier to balance a personal and professional life. On the flip side, setting boundaries that lead to a better work-life balance can be tricky if your bedroom and office are one in the same.
Consider these tips for finding work-life balance when working remotely, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
To rank which places in Florida are best for remote workers, we created six categories:
Each data point among the categories was individually scored on a rank of 1 to 100, with one representing the worst and 100 representing the best. These scores were then averaged to create the category score. Lastly, the category scores were combined (using the weights described below) to create the overall score. All scores were rounded to the tenth.
The categories and their components are:
MagnifyMoney researchers considered ranking other categories, too, such as the local businesses available for shopping, dining and recreation, as well as school quality features. However, we were concerned that past performance in these areas can’t be taken as a predictor of future performance. Local businesses have been shuttered for periods in many parts of the U.S. and schools have struggled with teacher retirements and online learning challenges amid the pandemic.
MagnifyMoney analysts ranked every municipality and Census-designated place in Florida with a population of at least 5,000 people and for which all data was available.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.