Companies shifting to remote work are having an unintended impact on the geography of the US.
Prior to the pandemic, top talent were often forced to move to large, expensive tech hubs in order to be considered for new positions. However, the last two years have reshaped this concept.
With housing and rental costs skyrocketing, employees are looking for a way to continue performing their best work, without the burden of high prices.
This is why many professionals are seeking solace in college towns and suburban areas. These areas offer some of the exciting amenities seen in large cities, while maintaining stable economies and lower costs of living.
For instance, college towns like Athens, Georgia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Fayetteville, Arkansas are beginning to retain their graduates or bring them back thanks to a booming job market.
Most of these cities are also close to larger cities, giving workers easy access to the excitement of these metropolitan areas, without the condensed, traffic-riddled nature.
Despite home prices growing nationwide, these three regions are still largely affordable.
The migration of new professionals also pushes economic opportunities for these cities. Bringing in more foot traffic means booming business, an increase in living developments, and more diversity — all of which are key for a thriving economy.