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Survey finds Naples has highest share of remote workers

A recent survey found more remote workers have relocated to Naples than any other city in the country.
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Posted at 4:22 PM, Jan 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 06:02:06-05

NAPLES, Fla. — For millions of workers office buildings are now optional.

Work is anywhere you want it to be.

A recent survey found more remote workers have relocated to Naples than any other city in the country.

“We’ve used the tagline, ‘if you can work anywhere, why not work in paradise?’” said Michael Dalby, President and CEO of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce.

In 2021 the chamber launched a campaign to attract remote workers looking to relocate.

It appears to have been a success.

A survey by the business analytics firm Yardi Matrix, found Naples had the highest rate of remote workers in the country.

22.3% of workers in Naples are remote, according to the survey, ahead of tech hubs like Seattle (14%) Austin, TX (13.4%) and San Francisco (11.8%).

“Primarily what we’re seeing is businesses in the northeast or Midwest that allowed their employees to work remotely, those employees are looking for a great place to live, work, and play,” Dalby said.

The nice weather, beaches, and amenities all played huge factors in Naples’ success in attracting remote workers, according to Doug Ressler, the Business Intelligence Manager with Yardi Matrix.

The lack of a state income tax is also attractive, especially for remote workers in the highly taxed northeast.

“One of the biggest items is schools. You know what’s the school like in area A where I’m moving to vs. area B where I’m moving from,” Ressler said.

The trend of remote work doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

A study from Upwork, an online freelancing platform, found almost five million people have already relocated thanks to remote work.

Another 19 million people are looking to move somewhere else in the future.

“If you’re able to work remotely, this is a great place to be,” said Dalby.

The impacts of this kind of remote worker migration are still unclear.

The positives are obvious, more people bring more money to the region.

But some worry the influx of newcomers can put a strain on the already tight housing market.

“When you look at what has happened since COVID, the (housing situation) has gotten so much worse,” said Joe Trachtenberg, the Chairman of the Collier County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

“The price of a rental apartment, the price of homes, has skyrocketed.”

Dalby hopes those remote workers will eventually transition into local business owners.

“What we’d like to see happen is those workers come here and they like being here, eventually some of them might start their own businesses,” said Dalby. “And that helps our economics.”

It’s not just Naples attracting remote workers.

The survey found West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville have high shares of remote workers who relocated.

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