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Tulsa Remote sees major increase in applications during pandemic

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Posted at 9:56 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 07:38:04-04

TULSA, Okla. — For some, the days of sitting in an office with your coworkers are over as working remotely becomes permanent for many companies.

As a result, programs like Tulsa Remote are seeing more people asking to join.

“We’ve seen a 300 percent increase in applications from the beginning of COVID-19," said Justin Harlan, COO of Tulsa Remote.

Tulsa Remote gives workers a $10,000 grant plus a year-long membership at a coworking space to move to the city.

Since it launched in 2018, Harlan said they've seen 800 new members come to Tulsa and they expect it to grow even more. He said they’re on pace to hit their goal of 750 new members in 2021.

“We see remote work at times becoming a necessity," Harlan said. "Now we see Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, and Google, and Amazon, and IBM that are establishing policies that are work from anywhere.”

For those not going into the office, but who are tired of being at home, a solution is coworking spaces like 36 Degrees North in Downtown Tulsa.

Harlan said those moving are a mix of people new to Tulsa and what he calls “boomerangers” or adults from the area who leave and then move back. Like Jennifer Holk, who moved back to Tulsa in January 2020 after applying for Tulsa Remote.

“I think for me, it sped up the process," Holk said.

One big draw for Holk, and many others, is a growing city and the affordable cost of living.

“My husband and I really wanted to buy a house, have a yard, get a dog, start a family, do those things," Holk said. "And we couldn’t really afford to do that in many of the other cities that we lived in.”

As for the future of Tulsa Remote, Harlan expects it to continue growing as employees settle into their new normal.

“They can have this awesome life, but at a low cost of living," Harlan said. "And in comparison to the west coast or east coast, we really see that Tulsa becomes far more affordable, but you’re still able to do awesome things on a daily basis.”

You can learn more about Tulsa Remote here.

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