On Wednesday, Business Insider reported that Tulsa, the second-largest city in Oklahoma, wants to take advantage of the millions of people working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic to boost its growth — by paying these workers $10,000 to relocate there for a year.
"As part of its Tulsa Remote program, which launched in November 2018, the city is looking for 250 new workers to relocate to the state's second-largest city. The program aims to help fuel growth in the city," reported Grace Dean. "Tulsa Remote, which is funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, will pay out a $10,000 grant over the course of a year. This includes upfront money to help with relocation expenses, a monthly stipend, and a final payment at the end of the year. Participants will also receive a one-year membership at a local co-working space, help finding housing, and regular community-building opportunities."
The program is open to people who currently live outside of Oklahoma, hold a full-time job that allows remote employment, and can relocate within six months.
"Tulsa's economy has historically been dominated by the oil industry, but the city has growing finance, technology, manufacturing, and aerospace sectors. It also is home to 15 higher education institutions and an international airport," said the report. "The cost of living in Tulsa is 61% lower than New York City, and house prices are 43% below the national average, the program's organizers say."
There is some evidence that the remote work initially adopted as an emergency measure to isolate people and stop the spread of COVID-19 could become a permanent fixture of the economy; one study found that nearly 3 in 4 CFOs plan to keep remote work policies in place beyond the pandemic. Such a shift has the potential to restructure life around America, from changing commercial real estate markets, to accelerating the growth of suburbs, to attracting workers to lower-cost, midsize cities like Tulsa.