Airbnb names Houston a top destination for digital nomads
The closures that followed during the COVID pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for employees to experience working from home. Even though the pandemic has eased somewhat, many companies continue to offer hybrid and remote work options, giving workers the advantage of choosing their workplace, whether at home, in another state. or even somewhere abroad.
In response, some workers have chosen to become “digital nomads”: people who constantly move from place to place, relying heavily on their wireless devices, while maintaining a constant flow of work functions. It turns out that Houston is a prime destination for these mobile pioneers and their rental hosts, according to the North American Digital Nomads Index recently published by Airbnb.
The most important factor in the appeal of digital nomads to Houston as a traveling remote work hub appears to be affordability. Space City ranked second after St. Louis for the lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 most populous metros, according to Airbnb data.
But there are clearly other aspects that draw people to Houston: our city ranked fourth in most long-term visits booked through Airbnb in the first quarter of 2022. And there may well be a lot of overlap between the leisure travelers and the mobile workforce; Airbnb also noted that one in five guests said they used Airbnb to work remotely while traveling in 2021, and the trend has continued this year.
What impact could the trend of digital nomads have locally? Data projections by Ladders in December 2021 predicted that 25% of professional jobs will be remote by the end of this year, as the rapid growth of remote work will continue. And in a trend report from Coresignal that analyzed more than 40 million public job offers from August 2020 to March 2022, Texas ranked second (behind only California) for most remote job opportunities. So it certainly seems possible that H-Town will remain a top destination for mobile professionals and that their share of the local labor force will grow.
One thing seems clear: As more companies begin to adjust to the new normal of remote working, employees are trading cubicles for greener pastures. And many of them choose to earn their paychecks while discovering all the hidden gems Houston has to offer.