Atlanta has one of nation’s top 15 cities for working from home

The sun is out and metro Atlantans are enjoying it by going for a hike or stroll in their favorite parks — including Sandy Springs residents.

Those of us fortunate enough to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic probably never thought we’d still be doing so for most of the year.

According to RetailMeNot, the shift is leading many workers toward “Zoom towns” — cities that are booming as remote work becomes more popular.

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These Zoom towns are experiencing the largest booms right now, increasingly attracting well-educated laptop workers with lower living costs, access to outdoor recreation and strong (albeit less dense) communities.

RetailMeNot set out to find which cities are best for working from home, and one of the top 15 is in metro Atlanta.

To find the best locations to work from home, researchers at RetailMeNot ranked cities and states based on several metrics related to 1) community and safety, 2) housing and living costs, and 3) health and weather. In general, the researchers wanted to identify the most affordable locations with low crime rates; good weather for outdoor recreation; and well-educated, healthy populations, among other factors. Their researchers sourced data from Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Centers for Environment Information, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau to create a composite score for each city.

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Finishing in first place was Gilbert, Arizona, with an overall score of 91.04.

If you’re not looking to move that far, consider Sandy Springs, which finished No. 15 with an overall score of 84.02.

Here’s how the city scored in other areas:

Community and safety: 95.61

Housing and living costs: 69.17

Health and weather: 87.29

RetailMeNot included only cities with at least 100,000 residents, and only one city per metropolitan area was included in the final list.

If you don’t live in Sandy Springs, you’re still in pretty good shape. A recent analysis by financial website WalletHub ranked Georgia as the fifth best state in the country for working from home. Georgia scored 62.70 in total. It had a No. 23 work environment rank, and finished No. 1 in living environment.

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