Werk Werk Werk From Here: Chattanooga Becomes a Hub for Remote Work

What makes Chattanooga the best place for remote working in the country? Well, it’s a little bit of everything: affordability, access to nature, walkability, etc. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that we have some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. Who wouldn’t want to work from here, right? 

So, during the pandemic maybe it wasn’t a surprise to read headlines like this from Travel and Leisure magazine: “Why This Tennessee City is the Ultimate WFH Destination for Remote Workers.” Or a headline like “This Random City in Tennessee is the Best Place to Work From Home in the Country” from TimeOut. 

The WFH reputation even caught the eye of Forbes who ranked Chattanooga “No. 1” on their list of “best work from home cities in the U.S.” 

But the buzz doesn’t just happen. Several organizations and entities partnered — including Chattanooga Tourism Co. and the Chattanooga Area Chamber — to help spread the gospel about Chattanooga.  

During the pandemic, destinations needed to be agile and adaptive in order to capture these potential remote workers. The island nation of Barbados created a “Welcome Stamp” which allowed visitors temporary 12-month visas to, quite literally, work in paradise. 

But despite the lack of ocean or tropical weather, a similar Chattanooga initiative wasn’t too much of a stretch. Especially when you consider our proximity to major cities where the pandemic was creating droves of potential remote workers. 

Chattanooga Business/Casual Pass

The Chattanooga Business/Casual Pass was born. It offers incentives to visitors who stayed and worked in at least three different locations and a chance to win discounts from Chattanooga attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, a host of local goodies from the Chattanooga Tourism Co. and hotel packages. 

Sarah Nels is a Manhattan native and VP of GTM Operation for Swrve, a mobile marketing platform. She visited a Chattanooga family member in 2016 and was immediately smitten with the Scenic City. 

“We came down here for a family reunion from Manhattan and just fell in love with it,” Nels said in a Chattanooga Chamber video. “It’s just really friendly and normal, and people take the time to get to know you … things have just been really easy here.” 

Nels and family quickly traded their road bikes for mountain bikes, utilizing Chattanooga’s abundance of mountain biking trails. 

“If someone wants to move to Chattanooga and they like an easy, welcoming community this is the place to be,” she said. 

The national trend of hybrid and fully remote work in Chattanooga is continuing into 2022 and beyond with more companies opting for flexible schedules and a “work from anywhere” policy. Chattanooga continues to offer that sweet spot of work/play, affordability and adventure, that makes it poised to beckon those lucky few who have the freedom to travel and work.

The original version of this article first appeared in a previous edition of our Magazine.