On the go

Airbnb Names Houston as a Top Destination for Digital Nomads

Looking to work while traveling? The Bayou City is a prime place.

By Jessica Lodge August 10, 2022

Digital nomads are finding new digs in Houston. 

The shutdowns that ensued during the COVID pandemic presented an unique opportunity for employees to experiment with working from home. Even as the pandemic has abated somewhat,  many companies are continuing to offer hybrid and remote work options, giving workers the advantage of choosing their workplace—whether it’s in their home, in a different state, or even somewhere abroad. 

In response, some workers have chosen to become “digital nomads”: people who constantly travel from place to place, relying heavily on their wireless devices, while maintaining a steady stream of job functions. As it turns out, Houston is a prime destination for these mobile trailblazers and their rental hosts, according to the North American Digital Nomad Index recently published by Airbnb. 

The most prominent factor in digital nomads’ attraction to Houston as a hub for peripatetic remote work appears to be affordability. Space City ranked second to St. Louis for lowest living costs among the 20 most populous metros in the country, according to the Airbnb data.

But there clearly are other aspects drawing folks to Houston: our city ranked fourth for most long-term visits booked via Airbnb in the first quarter of 2022. And there could well be a lot of overlap between leisure travelers and the mobile workforce; Airbnb also noted that one in five guests reported using Airbnb to work remotely while traveling in 2021, and the trend has continued into this year.

Just how big an impact could the digital nomad trend have locally? Data projections by Ladders in December 2021 predicted that 25 percent of professional jobs will be remote by the end of this year, as rapid remote work growth will continue. And in a trend report by Coresignal that analyzed over 40 million public job listings August 2020 until March 2022, Texas ranked second (behind only California) for the most remote job opportunities. So it certainly seems possible that H-Town will remain a leading destination for mobile professionals—and that their share of the workforce population locally will increase.

One thing seems clear: as more companies begin to adapt to the new normal of remote work, employees are trading in cubicles for greener pastures. And many of them are opting to earn their paycheck while experiencing all the hidden gems that Houston has to offer.

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