9 Reasons Why Remote Workers are Moving to Chicago


9 Reasons Why Remote Workers are Moving to Chicago

For most of 2020, many headlines have been focusing on one thing – remote workers. What they’re doing and why, where they’re working, and what they’re looking for in real estate. It turns out that Chicago is a popular choice for them, because it checks off so many of their needs: reliable access to high-speed internet, a space for a home office, and affordable housing. But they’re also keen on an active nightlife scene and opportunities for socializing and unwinding too. Here are 9 main reasons why remote workers are moving to Chicago.

  • Affordability

City life is inherently expensive, but Chicago can actually be an affordable option for someone dead set on living the city life. Living in Illinois gives you a lot of metropolitan benefits that you’d normally get in major cities like New York or Los Angeles, but at a much lower price. The cost of living in Chicago is pretty close to the national average, being only slightly higher due to transportation costs. The average home is actually priced under the national average, so it’s easy to see how that is attractive for a lot of people.

  • Home Appreciation

While there are many factors that play into whether a home will appreciate or not, the Chicago area, in general, has continued to see good real estate appreciation, even despite a pandemic.  This means that buying a home in Chicago could be a great investment over the long term and grow equity as you live there. For people who aren't afraid of a little hard work, consider properties that need minor repairs or updates.  With a little patience and the help of a great real estate professional, it is even possible to find homes at bargain prices
that can yield larger than average appreciation returns.
  • Neighborhood Diversity

When you spend so much time at home, you want to thoroughly enjoy everything about it – the location, the neighborhood, the way your home looks inside and out, its layout, and even your neighbors. There are plenty of areas in the country where homes are boring and look the same, but not Chicago. The city is known for having very diverse and distinct neighborhoods, a testament to its interesting dwellers, its strong personality, and its thriving art scene. The iconic walk-ups are an inextricable part of Chicago. 

  • Access to Technology

When you work remotely, your internet access is your lifeline, so it becomes vitally important to be able to secure not only a stable connection, but a fast one. The same can be said of tech devices like laptops and phones – you need to have access to the latest generation devices, and learn how to use them in order to remain competitive. Thankfully, technology is now easily accessible even in the most remote parts of the country, but if you want options and competitive prices with the guarantee of stability and a fast connection, then living in a major city is your best bet. Remote workers know that, so they’re disproportionately seeking cities like Chicago in order to ensure that their needs are being met. Whether it’s super fast internet, more TV channels, or first-dibs on the newest MacBook, remote workers are highly dependent on their tech.

  • A Thriving Job Market 

No matter what part of the country you live in, most of the well-paying jobs are in the city. But since city living is typically so expensive, it falls to workers to commute for hours between the suburbs and the city. So, with an opportunity of cheaper apartments, young workers are flocking to cities like Chicago, even if they are working remotely. Certain jobs will still require some days in the office, so it makes sense to be close by. More importantly, employees may be looking for alternative jobs and they’re infinitely more readily available in the city than they are elsewhere. 

  • Remote-Friendly Spaces

While remote work has been confined strictly to working from home for the past year, this situation will not go on forever, and a lot of people have already made moves to go back to using co-working spaces or coffee shops. Chicago is the ideal place for that. Between the Starbucks on every corner and the many dedicated co-working spaces like WeWork or The Wing, there is no shortage of workspaces for the people who want to benefit from the remote work lifestyle, but still be able to “commute” and have that sense of community you’d normally get in the office. It’s the best of both worlds.

  • Socializing & Nightlife

Remote work can be a little lonely and alienating, so going out and socializing is an extremely important part of the lifestyle. Young people often want to live in a city, rather than a suburb, because of all the opportunities for entertainment and socialization it affords them. It’s worth it for the food alone - living in Chicago means you’re never more than 10 minutes away from incredible pizza or the famous Chicago-style hot-dog. In addition, there are also numerous cafes and clubs to enjoy for a fun night out. The nightlife is thriving, so for a fun-loving young couple who works hard and plays hard, Chicago is the perfect home.

  • Transportation Infrastructure

One of the major benefits of living in a city is that you usually don’t have to drive. Not only is everything close by and walkable, but public transportation can usually take you anywhere you need to go. Like New York City, Chicago is a famously walkable city, so remote workers moving here have a double advantage: they can easily get their steps in, and they’re not reliant on the additional burden and expense of a vehicle. Not to mention that parking is a headache. Why do that when you can walk, bike, or take the train.

  • Proximity to the Beach

When you work from home, it becomes even more important to take the time to go outside and engage in physical activity, swim, or enjoy the sunshine. It’s no wonder that it’s a top priority for remote workers moving to Illinois. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are keen on living as close to the beach as possible. It’s a wonderful way to unwind and spend a day having fun in the sun or playing in the sand. Chicago happens to have 24 gorgeous beaches to enjoy very close by. 

Bottom Line:

In spite of all the upheaval that employees have seen in 2020, there is one advantage: remote work is more common and more acceptable than ever, so both new and experienced remote workers are looking to move to areas that are remote-friendly. Chicago is one of the favorites, and for good reasons. Not only is the cost of living much more affordable compared to similar major cities, but the city has a remote-friendly infrastructure and facilities, undeniable charm, diversity, and an array of advantages that are difficult to refuse. From proximity to the beach to a lively nightlife and excellent transportation, Chicago is the place to be if you’re a remote worker.

Article written by Victoria Standridge

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