AEDC to remote workers: ‘Leave your crowded city and come to Anchorage’

Downtown Anchorage, as seen from the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in April, 2020. (Abbey Collins/Alaska Public Media)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many workers across the country out of office buildings and into home offices.

The increase in remote work is widespread. In June, research from Stanford University found that 42% of U.S. workers were working from home full time.

Pandemic restrictions have eased since then, but they continue to impact the way we work. For those people still working remotely, who could potentially live anywhere, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation is asking, ‘why not Anchorage?’

The organization has launched an initiative, appealing to remote workers to move to Anchorage. Emma Irish is the AEDC’s director of strategic initiatives.

“We’re looking at cities that we know have a large remote workforce base, or cities that we know have the potential. And our pitch is, essentially: leave your crowded city and come to the wide-open spaces of Anchorage,” said Irish.

Irish says the AEDC hopes a quieter, less crowded, city will be appealing to those in more dense metropolitan areas.

“Our cost of living is less than those big areas. We have tons of parks and trails. We have amenities like co-working space,” said Irish. “We have all the amenities in place for someone to live a great life and lead a really cool career.”

And, Irish says, more workers in Anchorage is good for Alaska, too.

“You know, they shop, they dine out, they buy property, they’re contributing to our tax base, it’s a good thing all around,” said Irish.

The increase in remote work could outlast the pandemic. According to the Stanford research, some companies anticipate having employees work from home at least part-time in the future.

Maybe, the AEDC says, that home could be in Alaska.