With offices shut and face-to-face meetings replaced by Zoom calls, many workers are taking the chance to do their jobs from a distance. Being untethered from the office means they're free to live where they want, and some are leaving behind high rents and clogged cities for close-knit communities and more affordable homes.

And as the shift to remote work continues to grow, a handful of states are offering financial incentives and other perks to attract these remote workers to their area. These places tend to offer more space, a lower cost of living, and an abundance of outdoor opportunities. If you want to try living someplace new, either temporarily or permanently, you might find what you're looking for here.

Northwest Arkansas

Woman rides bike pulling child carrier on trail
Northwest Arkansas is looking to attract remote workers to the area, while highlighting the great outdoors ©Getty Images

In November, the Northwest Arkansas Council launched the Life Works Here initiative, which offers $10,000 and a new mountain bike or museum membership to successful applicants who relocate there. The program aims to attract remote workers in science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics. New residents will enjoy the Ozark Mountains right on their doorstep, as well as craft breweries, world-class museums and charming small towns in Benton and Washington counties. Find out if you're eligible here.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, USA riverfront skyline
Savannah is attracting tech workers with financial incentives ©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Savannah with its Southern Gothic charms is hoping to attract remote tech workers through the Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive. Funded by the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA), the incentive provides grants of up to $2,000 to tech workers to cover some of the costs of moving during the pandemic. "Our beautiful, historic downtown, plus access to wonderful beaches and our reasonable real estate market makes us quite an attractive place to live and work," said SEDA Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Jen Bonnett. To apply, see here.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona, USA Skyline
Residents in sunny Tucson enjoy a low cost of living ©Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Startup Tucson’s pilot program, Remote Tucson, is accepting remote workers from any industry to come to Arizona's second city. Each will receive money to relocate, alongside free internet, moving assistance and other incentives that are worth more than $7,500 in total. New residents will be also be paired with community ambassadors to help get them settled into their new home. Additional perks include sunny Tucson's warm climate, eclectic culinary scene (it was designated a Unesco city of gastronomy in 2015), great coffee shops, low cost of living, and abundance of outdoor recreational experiences. To apply, see here.

The Shoals, Northwest Alabama

The Shoals is offering remote workers $10,000 to move there. It will pay 25% upfront to help with the costs of relocating, another 25% six months later, and the remaining 50% when you’ve completed the first year is done and dusted. Located just two hours from Memphis, Nashville and Birmingham, the Shoals offers new residents affordable housing, close-knit communities, thriving creative scenes and music history. Its recording studios have hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson, and the area is also renowned for the "Shindig” – a weekend of fashion shows, food, concerts, and baseball. To apply, see here.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Graffiti sign in Tulsa
Tulsa's remote worker program has been running since 2018 ©George Kaiser Foundation

The City of Tulsa and George Kaiser Family Foundation are offering a US$10,000 grant – and other benefits – to eligible applicants to move and work remotely from the Oklahoman city for a year. The grants will be given out over the course of a year, to remote workers or entrepreneurs who currently live outside Tulsa County. The initiative launched in November 2018, and it's been renewed each year since due to its success. It attempts to fully integrate remote workers into the area by linking them with locals and newbies through numerous community-building opportunities. Remote workers need to be able to move to Tulsa within six months to qualify. You can find out more about eligibility requirements here.

Topeka, Kansas

Topeka historic downtown, Kansas.
Topeka's cost of living is 10% below the national average ©peeterv/Getty Images

In Kansas, the “Choose Topeka,” program is offering up to $15,000 for professionals to relocate there. The initiative is split, with $10,000 going toward the purchase of a home in Topeka or Shawnee County, or $5000 toward a one-year lease in the region. According to Choose Topeka, one of the main attractions is Topeka’s cost of living, which is 10% below the national average. It's also a great place for families with a mix of city and small-town amenities, including a bustling main street, great neighborhood restaurants, and plenty of parks, sports centers and museums for all ages. To apply, see here.

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