Big bucks, free bikes and Jimmy John's perks: These 6 places will pay you to relocate in the WFH era

Some companies have made long-term commitments to remote work, and a number of areas around the U.S. are offering cash and other incentives to remote workers willing to relocate.

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Image: iStock/vasyl dolmatov

In the remote work era, telecommuters who have been liberated from spatial and logistical constraints can work from virtually anywhere. A growing number of cities are looking to attract remote workers from around the globe, using everything from cold hard cash to free bikes and more to seal the deal. These six cities are pulling out all the stops to draw remote professionals in the work-from-anywhere era.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Tulsa Remote grants offer $10,000 to eligible candidates relocating to the so-called Oil Capital of the World. The initiative website includes four program requirements stating that candidates must be at least 18, can move to the city in the 2021 calendar year, are employed full-time remote or self-employed outside of the state. Individuals must also be eligible to work in the U.S.

SEE: Working from home: The future of business is remote (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Working from home: How to get remote right (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Topeka, Kansas

Choose Topeka offers qualified applicants up to $15,000 to relocate to the Golden City with requirements for both on-site and remote workers. Eligible on-site professionals must purchase or rent a primary residence in the county within one year of their hire or move date, relocate to Topeka for a full-time job with an employer participating in the funding match, according to the website.

For remote workers, the Choose Topeka site says eligible applicants are limited to a single relocation incentive for their household, the remote employers need to be located outside of the county with a three-month application waiting period.

Interestingly, Jimmy John's will throw in an additional $1,000 bonus to those who relocate to select delivery zones in Topeka for both the on-site and remote options.

Northwest Arkansas

As part of The Northwest Arkansas Council's "Life Works Here" program, the organization is offering a $10,000 incentive for "top remote working talent" relocating to the area. To reap these benefits, the program website says the council is seeking "all kinds of talent," while noting that "the most in-demand talent in our region are STEAM professionals and entrepreneurs." As a deal sweetener, approved applicants will have their choice of a bicycle (street or mountain bike) to enjoy the regional outdoor activities or a one-year membership to partnering "arts and cultural institutions." Northwest Arkansas includes Fayetteville.

Savannah, Georgia

The Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive offers up to $2,000 to "qualified technology workers" relocating to Chatham County. The Savannah Economic Development Authority lays out a series of eligibility criteria on the program website: Eligible applicants must be self-employed, relocating for a position at a tech company in the area or working remotely for an outside tech company. Additionally, professionals will need to have three years of "verifiable experience" and relocate with at least a "one-year lease or purchase property" in the county.

St. Clair County, Michigan

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County, Michigan,  which includes the city of Port Huron, offers a Come Home Award to draw remote workers to the area. The organization's website says the award is "essentially a talent retention program and pays graduates on the back-end of their college career" who have completed a degree in a STEAM field if they "agree to move to and work within St. Clair County."

Eligible applicants must live outside of St. Clair County and graduate with an "appropriate 2, 4 or graduate degree within the last 10 years and still has student debt." The come home award is paid quarterly (up to $15,000) and while there is no mandatory length of stay stipulated the fund must be used toward student loan debt.

SEE: "Workcations": 8 inns and hotels with deals for telecommuters looking for a change of scenery (TechRepublic)

Hamilton, Ohio

The Hamilton Community Foundation is offering a number of incentives as part of its Talent  Attraction Program Scholarship, which it describes as a "reverse scholarship" designed to help recent graduates pay off student loan debt. Accepted applicants who do not currently live in "designated areas in the city of Hamilton" but plan to move or live in these areas could receive up to $10,000 ($300 monthly) and people who have graduated from a STEAM program in the last seven years are preferred, according to the scholarship website. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati.

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By R. Dallon Adams

R. Dallon Adams is a journalist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. His previous work includes a wide spectrum of beats and formats ranging from tech-savvy urban planning initiatives to hands-on gadget reviews.