Vermont is offering $10,000 grants to cover moving expenses for those who want to move to Vermont to work remotely.
Vermont’s population is aging fast. As a former resident I can tell you there are some pretty good reason. Unless you want to work in hospitality or agriculture, there aren’t a whole lot of other jobs. Add to that harsh winters and land values that more resemble California than a state with a shrinking population, and you have a place not exactly welcoming of young people.
So, to remedy this troubling trend Vermont is welcoming workers who work remotely to live in Vermont and expand its tax base. While offering $10,000 may seem like a lot just to get some one to come live in your state, it’s actually a good bit cheaper than going through the trouble of attracting new industry to the state (states typically incentive companies to locate in their state, and for a heck of a lot more that $10K).
Like a lot of things the Green Mountain State does, this is actually a pretty shrewd policy taking advantage of a trend that we’re seeing more of every day. Working remotely has been the promise of technology for a long time. I remember seeing commercials in the 90s where people were video conferencing and working collaboratively on the go like this one:
At the time, the most AT&T could really conjure up when it came to working remotely was reading “a book thousands of miles away” or sending a fax (a *FAX*) from the beach. This could be part of the reason why, in the proceeding two decades, working from home was often code for “I’m not going to work today, but you can call me if you have a question.” However, in the past couple years, truly working remotely has started to become a reality, and accessible to all businesses, not just the Fortune 500.
This new incentive from Vermont is further proof that the modern office isn’t just a building anymore. The modern office is in the cloud and accessible from anywhere you can get an internet connection. It’s an indestructible virtual “place” that coworkers can meet, collaborate, and get real work done.
Vermont gets it.