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Delaware County Well-Suited for Remote Work, Report Finds

A new study from the National Association of Realtors identified which areas of the country were likely to continue working remotely after the pandemic subsides. Delaware County, Ohio, had the eighth highest score.

(TNS) — A new study concludes that Delaware County, Ohio, workers are well-positioned to continue working from home when the coronavirus pandemic ends.

The National Association of Realtors "Work from Home" study seeks to identify areas in the country where workers are most likely to stay put after the pandemic.

In 2018, 8 million workers 16 or older, or 5.3 percent of the workforce, worked from home, according to the the report, relying on U.S. Census Bureau data. During the pandemic, that figure skyrocketed to more than 60 percent of workers.

"The coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated the number of workers who are able to work from home," said Lawrence Yun, the trade group's chief economist. "Possibly a quarter of the labor force may be permitted to work from anywhere outside of the office even after a vaccine is discovered – compared to only 5 percent prior to the pandemic – and this will greatly change the landscape of where people buy homes."

In an effort to gauge areas where workers might not return to the office after the pandemic, the Realtors' group created a Work from Home Score for 3,142 counties.

The score is based on several factors, including percentage of workers at home before the pandemic, broadband internet access, percentage of homes with computers, the portion of workers in office-related jobs, and an area's population growth.

Forsyth County, Georgia, outside Atlanta, where more than 11 percent of workers worked from home before the coronavirus, had the nation's highest Work from Home Score.

Delaware County landed at No. 8, based on the high percentage (8.1) of workers who were home before COVID-19, and the fact that 99 percent of homes are served by at least three internet providers.

In two other other Ohio counties - Holmes and Geauga - more than 7 percent of workers worked from home in 2018. No central Ohio county other than Delaware County had more than 6 percent of workers at home in 2018: Franklin County, 4.5 percent; Licking, 4.3 percent; Pickaway, 3.1 percent; Fairfield, 4.4 percent; Madison, 4.5 percent; and Union, 5.5 percent.

Delaware was the only Ohio county to crack the Top 30 on the Realtors' list, which was dominated by Southern and Western counties.

Following Forsyth County in Georgia, are: Douglas County, Colorado (Denver metro area); Los Alamos County, New Mexico (Albuquerque); Collin County, Texas (Dallas); and Loudon County, Virginia (Washington, D.C.).

©2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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