Remote workers found Okla-home-a

Tulsa’s experiment gives other cities a working template.

When Tulsa, Oklahoma, started offering workers $10k to pack up their lives and move there back in 2018, we were intrigued.

remote worker

But, five years later, something even more curious has happened: Most people who took the initial cash bait stayed.

Per Vox, of the 2.4k+ people who’ve moved through the Tulsa Remote program, 90% stayed put after completing their one-year commitment — 76% never left.

And they’re bringing serious money into Tulsa, each generating $150k+ in labor income and contributing a combined ~$2.5m in new sales tax revenue in 2022.

But what’s the draw for workers?

While that $10k didn’t hurt, it ended up being much more:

  • Tulsa Remote hosts ~15 monthly community-building events.
  • The program created 160 Slack channels that cater to niche interest groups (like parents, book clubs, or cycling).

The initiative attracted people craving connection, per a 2022 Brookings Institution study, and delivering that community engagement made the move permanent for many.

Could this become a thing?

Totally. Other cities have already set up programs to tempt remote workers with cash and perks, from Bentonville, Arkansas, to Paducah, Kentucky.

While Tulsa’s program shows community-building is key, lower costs of living and more affordable housing sweeten the deal.

And we’re talking drastically more affordable housing: The median home price in Paducah is $118k, compared to $799k in Boston.

Now you just have to break it to your mom that you’re movin’ out…

Topics: Remote Work

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