A team of researchers identified Bloomfield as the best city for remote-work in the U.S. based on the number of job openings in town that list remote work as an option as of March.
Rather than surveying individual people about whether they work from home or from the office, the researchers created a tool that would survey online job postings.
"We went through a number of iterations, and we eventually were able to develop a method for basically replicating what a human would do if they were to read the job ad," said Peter Lambert, co-author of the study and PhD candidate at the London School of Economics. "And we show in the paper that our approach to analyzing the text in these job ads really is almost identical to if you ask someone to sit down and read these 270 odd million job postings."
"There happens to be some really large employers in either Bloomfield or the Hartford broader area including companies like Cigna, like United Health, who just have a really large number of workers who are remote," Lambert said.
Mayor Danielle Wong said the number of remote positions available in Bloomfield is something she is proud of.
"As companies regain their post-pandemic footing, I am proud that Bloomfield can be a place that supports a robust hybrid work environment," Wong said in a statement.
Lambert addressed the possibility that Cigna, like other companies, may consider bringing workers back into the office, toppling Bloomfield's status as best remote work municipality.
Cigna, the largest company headquartered in Connecticut, has its main offices in Bloomfield.
In addition to Cigna, Lambert said Bloomfield and surrounding towns had a lot of remote jobs open within town and city government.
Lambert, and his co-author Nick Bloom from Stanford, became interested in remote work with the onset of the pandemic and the potential ways it could affect how and where people choose to live.
"One of the cool things about remote work is that you can start seeing that there's a bit of a disconnect between the location of the worker and the location of the business," Lambert said. "And that's a really good thing for smaller towns around the U.S. because it means a lot of people who live there can enjoy living in that local area, and maybe it's a little cheaper than the big cities."
For Mayor Wong, having people back to the office in town is just as much of an opportunity as remote work.
"Our town is an an exciting growth period, and having people back in the office, like Cigna, just adds to the town vibrancy," Wong said.