Jun Li

Jun Li



October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of Living in Washington


#remote work

#United States


scenic view of washington


Washington, the Evergreen State, is a diverse and vibrant region located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving metropolitan areas, and booming tech industry, Washington is attracting an increasing number of remote workers who have the opportunity to work from anywhere.

From the lush forests of Olympic National Park to the bustling city life of Seattle, Washington offers a perfect blend of urban convenience and outdoor adventures. With its strong economy and commitment to innovation, the state has become a hub for tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft, creating a wealth of job opportunities for remote workers.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of living in Washington as a fully remote worker. Whether you're considering relocating to the state or simply curious about the remote work lifestyle in Washington, we'll provide insights into the benefits and challenges you may encounter while working and living in this dynamic state.

Pros of Living in Washington


scenic view of washington

  • Affordable Cost of Living

  • Living in Washington offers an affordable cost of living compared to many other states in the US. The housing prices and overall expenses are relatively lower, making it easier to stretch your budget. Whether you choose to rent an apartment or buy a house, you can find options that fit your financial situation. This affordability can be a significant advantage, especially if you are working fully remote and looking to save money or invest in other areas of your life. With the lower cost of living, you can enjoy your remote work lifestyle without the added stress of high expenses.

  • Safety and Security

  • Washington is known for its relatively low crime rates, making it a great place to live for individuals concerned about safety and security. The state consistently ranks well in national crime statistics, giving residents a peace of mind. Whether you're living in the bustling city of Seattle or the quieter suburbs, you can generally feel safe going about your daily life without major concerns for personal safety or property crime. This sense of security can be especially important for those working fully remote as they spend more time at home. With less need to commute to an office, individuals can enjoy the comfort of their surroundings, knowing that they are living in a safe environment.

  • Year-round Warm Climate

  • With its warm climate all year round, Washington offers a delightful environment for those who prefer to live in a place with mild temperatures. The consistent warmth allows residents to explore outdoor activities and enjoy the natural beauty of the state without being hindered by extreme weather conditions. Whether you're working remotely or just looking to unwind after a long day, the pleasant climate of Washington provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, biking, or simply lounging at a nearby beach. Additionally, the warm weather creates a welcoming atmosphere for socializing, giving you plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow remote workers and engage in community events. So, embrace the year-round warmth and make the most of your remote work experience in Washington!

  • Clean Air Quality

  • If you choose to live in Washington, you can breathe easy knowing that the air quality is generally good. With its expansive green spaces, abundant forests, and commitment to environmental preservation, Washington takes pride in its clean air. This is especially important if you are someone who values a healthy lifestyle and seeks a peaceful environment to work in. Working fully remote allows you to enjoy the benefits of the fresh air and clear skies that Washington has to offer. Whether you prefer to work from your backyard or take breaks to explore nature during the day, the clean air quality of Washington will surely enhance your remote work experience. With fewer pollutants in the air, you can focus on your tasks with a clear mind and feel refreshed and energized throughout the workday. Additionally, the clean air contributes to the overall well-being of Washington residents, promoting a healthier and more productive community.

  • Spacious and Uncongested

  • Living in Washington offers the advantage of wide-open spaces and a lack of overcrowding. Unlike densely populated cities, Washington is known for its ample space and breathable surroundings. With its vast land area and low population density, residents can enjoy a sense of tranquility and escape from the hustle and bustle of crowded urban areas.

    The spaciousness of Washington provides individuals with more room to breathe and move around, especially for those who work remotely. Whether you're looking for a quiet place to work from home or seeking inspiration amidst nature, Washington's open landscapes offer a perfect backdrop.

    The unhurried lifestyle that comes with living in a less populated area can bring a sense of peace and relaxation, allowing remote workers to focus on their tasks without constant distractions. Additionally, with fewer people around, you're less likely to experience crowded public spaces, long queues, or congested traffic, making your daily life more enjoyable and stress-free.

    Residing in a less congested area can also have a positive impact on your mental and physical well-being. The abundance of open spaces and fresh air allows you to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or simply exploring the natural beauty of the surroundings. This can help reduce stress levels, improve overall health, and enhance your work-life balance.

    Furthermore, the spaciousness of Washington extends to the housing options available. Whether you prefer a cozy apartment or a larger house with a backyard, you can find a wide range of affordable and comfortable accommodations in less crowded areas. This means you can have the freedom to choose a home that suits your needs without breaking the bank.

    Overall, the spacious and uncongested nature of Washington creates a peaceful and inviting environment for remote workers. Whether you're seeking solitude or space for recreational activities, this aspect of living in Washington is undoubtedly a valuable advantage for those who value personal space and tranquility in their daily lives.

  • Business-friendly Environment

  • Washington is known for its affordability, making it an ideal location for starting or growing a business. With low housing costs and a reasonable cost of living, entrepreneurs can save money and allocate resources towards business development and growth.

    2. Supportive business climate: The state of Washington has a reputation for being business-friendly. It offers various programs and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth. There are resources available to help startups and small businesses, including mentorship programs, grants, and tax breaks.

    3. Access to talent: Washington is home to a skilled and educated workforce. The state has several world-class universities and research institutions, producing a pool of talented individuals who can bring innovation and expertise to your business.

    4. Infrastructure and transportation: Washington has a well-developed infrastructure, including a reliable transportation system and access to major ports for international trade. This makes it easier for businesses to import and export goods, contributing to their growth and success.

    5. Networking opportunities: The state hosts numerous industry events, conferences, and networking gatherings that provide valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect with like-minded professionals, potential clients, and investors. Building a strong professional network can be beneficial for the growth and development of your business.

    6. Supportive startup ecosystem: Washington boasts a vibrant startup ecosystem that fosters collaboration and innovation. The presence of co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators provides startups with the necessary support, mentorship, and resources to thrive.

    7. Digital infrastructure: While Washington may have some limitations in terms of slow internet in certain areas, major cities and urban centers offer high-speed broadband connections. This enables remote workers and businesses to stay connected, collaborate online, and take advantage of digital tools and resources.

    In summary, Washington's business-friendly environment, coupled with its low cost of living, access to talent, supportive ecosystem, and networking opportunities, make it an attractive location for entrepreneurs and remote workers looking to establish and grow their businesses.

  • Excellent Healthcare Facilities

  • Washington state offers excellent healthcare facilities, making it a great place to live for both remote workers and their families. With a range of top-notch hospitals and medical centers, residents can have peace of mind knowing that they have access to quality healthcare services.

    The state is home to renowned medical institutions like the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children's Hospital, which provide advanced medical treatments and care. These facilities boast state-of-the-art technology and a highly trained medical staff, ensuring that residents receive the best possible healthcare.

    In addition to the prestigious hospitals, Washington state also has a strong network of clinics, specialists, and healthcare professionals. This means that no matter where you are located in the state, you can find reliable healthcare services nearby.

    Moreover, Washington's healthcare system focuses on preventive care and wellness. With an emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles and regular check-ups, residents have the opportunity to prioritize their well-being and maintain good health. Routine health screenings, vaccinations, and access to necessary medications are all readily available.

    Having excellent healthcare facilities in your area can provide peace of mind while working remotely. It ensures that you have access to the care you need in case of any emergencies or health concerns. Additionally, with family-friendly hospitals and specialized services for children, Washington state is a welcoming place for remote workers with families.

    Overall, living in Washington state offers the advantage of having access to high-quality healthcare facilities so you can focus on your remote work without worrying about medical care for yourself or your loved ones.

  • Democratic Governance

  • Living in Washington offers the advantage of a democratic government, providing a stable and well-established political system. The state is known for its transparency and citizen participation in the decision-making process. This ensures that residents have a voice in shaping policies that affect their lives.

    With a democratic government, there is a strong emphasis on protecting individual rights and liberties. The legal framework in Washington supports freedom of expression and assembly, allowing residents to freely express their opinions and participate in peaceful protests or civil activities.

    Additionally, the democratic governance in Washington encourages open dialogue and debate, providing opportunities for individuals to engage in discussions on important matters. This inclusive environment fosters a sense of community and allows for diverse perspectives to be heard and taken into account.

    By living in a state with democratic governance, individuals can have confidence in the fairness and accountability of the government institutions. This contributes to a stable and reliable environment for both personal and professional endeavors.

    Overall, the democratic governance in Washington provides residents with a voice, ensuring their rights and fostering a sense of belonging within the community.

  • English Language Proficiency

  • People can speak basic English.

    Washington has a significant advantage for expats and remote workers in terms of language proficiency. English is widely spoken and understood throughout the state, making it easier for newcomers to communicate and integrate into the local community. Whether you're ordering food at a restaurant, asking for directions, or interacting with colleagues, you can expect to encounter a high level of English language proficiency.

    This linguistic advantage not only simplifies day-to-day interactions but also facilitates networking and building relationships with fellow professionals. Being able to communicate effectively in English opens up opportunities for collaboration, sharing ideas, and expanding your professional network. It also reduces the likelihood of miscommunication, ensuring smooth teamwork and cooperation in the remote work environment.

    Moreover, the prevalence of English in Washington benefits international remote employees who may not yet be fluent in the local language. This allows them to navigate their daily lives more effortlessly, access various services, and find information in the language they are familiar with.

    While Washington celebrates its cultural diversity and encourages the learning of different languages, the availability of basic English proficiency across the state is undoubtedly an advantage for remote workers looking to settle in this vibrant location.

  • Low Tobacco Usage

  • Not many people smoke tobacco.

    Washington is known for having a low prevalence of tobacco usage among its residents, which can be a great advantage for those who prefer a smoke-free environment. Non-smokers will find it easier to breathe clean air and enjoy a healthier lifestyle in this state. With fewer people smoking, you'll be less likely to encounter second-hand smoke, making it more pleasant to walk along the streets or spend time in public places.

    Additionally, the low tobacco usage rate reflects a health-conscious community in Washington. This can foster a positive and supportive environment for remote workers who strive to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Whether you're taking a break to go for a walk or enjoying outdoor activities on the weekends, the absence of heavy tobacco use contributes to a cleaner and fresher environment for everyone.

    Moreover, with fewer people smoking, there may be fewer distractions or disruptions in outdoor spaces, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Washington's nature. Whether you choose to explore the picturesque national parks, hike along the breathtaking trails, or relax on the stunning coastlines, you can do so without the discomfort or inconvenience of encountering tobacco smoke.

    The low tobacco usage in Washington aligns with the state's focus on well-being and healthy living. By promoting an environment with fewer smokers, the state fosters a healthier population and a better quality of life for all residents, including those working remotely. With a reduced risk of exposure to tobacco-related health hazards, you can fully embrace the benefits of remote work while enjoying the natural beauty and clean air of Washington.

    Cons of Living in Washington


    scenic view of washington

  • Limited Freedom of Speech

  • While Washington is known for its democratic values, it does have limitations when it comes to freedom of speech. Criticism of the government or certain political figures may be met with backlash, and there is a possibility of repercussions for speaking out against certain issues. This can create a stifling environment for those who value open and honest conversations.

    Additionally, social media and internet platforms may be monitored more closely, which can result in self-censorship among individuals and communities. This limited freedom of expression can be a significant barrier for those who enjoy sharing opinions and engaging in debates online.

    It is important to note that while there are limitations to freedom of speech, this does not mean that all forms of expression are restricted. However, individuals who are used to more liberal environments may find Washington's limitations on freedom of speech as a challenge in expressing themselves fully.

  • Slow Internet Connectivity

  • One major downside of living in Washington is the relatively slow internet connectivity. While the state has made advancements in expanding access to high-speed internet, there are still many areas where the internet speeds may not be up to par. This can be frustrating, especially for individuals who rely heavily on the internet for their remote work.

    Slow internet speeds can hinder productivity and make it difficult to participate in video conferences, upload or download large files, or even stream content seamlessly. This issue becomes even more prominent in rural and remote areas of Washington, where access to high-speed internet may be limited.

    However, it's important to note that not all areas of Washington suffer from slow internet connectivity. Major cities such as Seattle and Spokane typically offer faster internet speeds compared to rural areas. Furthermore, some internet service providers are working to improve the infrastructure and increase broadband access throughout the state.

    If you're considering living in Washington while working remotely, it's essential to research the internet options available in the specific area you plan to reside. This will help you determine if the internet connectivity meets your work requirements and ensure a smooth remote working experience.

  • Limited Entertainment Opportunities

  • While there are some advantages to living in Washington, one potential downside is the limited entertainment opportunities. The state is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities, but if you're looking for a bustling nightlife or a variety of cultural events, you may be disappointed.

    The smaller population and more relaxed atmosphere in Washington means that there are fewer entertainment options compared to larger cities. The nightlife scene is not as vibrant, with a limited number of bars, clubs, and live music venues. If you enjoy a vibrant social life and thrive on the excitement of a busy city, Washington may not offer the same level of experience.

    The state may also be lacking in terms of cultural attractions and events. While there are some museums and art galleries, they may not be as extensive as those found in larger cities. The limited options for cultural events such as theater productions, concerts, and festivals mean that you may have to travel to larger cities in neighboring states if you want a more diverse range of entertainment options.

    However, it's important to note that this may not be a significant drawback for everyone. If you prefer a quieter lifestyle and enjoy nature-based activities like hiking, fishing, or camping, Washington can still provide plenty of opportunities for recreation. Additionally, you can always explore hobbies and interests that don't rely heavily on urban entertainment options, such as reading, crafting, or exploring nature.

    Overall, if you're someone who thrives on a vibrant social scene and a wide range of cultural events, Washington may not be the best fit for you. However, if you're content with a quieter lifestyle and enjoy outdoor activities, it's still possible to find entertainment and fulfillment in the state.

  • Hot Summers

  • The summers in Washington can be scorching hot, making it uncomfortable to be outdoors for long periods of time. The high temperatures combined with high humidity levels can leave you feeling drained and sweaty. This can be particularly challenging if you prefer to work outside or enjoy outdoor activities during your free time. It may also impact your productivity if you don't have access to air conditioning in your workspace. So, if you're not a fan of extreme heat, the hot summers in Washington might be a downside for you.

  • Challenges in Making Friends

  • In some areas of Washington, you may encounter social cliques that have already established their own social circles. Breaking into these groups can be challenging, especially for newcomers. It can take time and effort to find your place and be accepted within these existing friend groups.

    3. Work-Centric Lifestyle: The fast-paced and work-focused lifestyle in Washington can also pose a challenge when it comes to making friends. People often have busy schedules and commitments, leaving them with limited time for socializing. Building connections outside of work can be a struggle, particularly if you work remotely and don't have the opportunity to interact with colleagues on a daily basis.

    4. Cultural Differences: Washington is a diverse place with people from various cultures and backgrounds. While this diversity adds vibrancy to the region, it can sometimes lead to cultural differences and misunderstandings that make it harder to connect with others on a deep level.

    5. Lack of Social Outlets: Compared to larger metropolitan areas, Washington may have fewer social outlets such as clubs, events, or groups catering specifically to networking and making friends. Finding opportunities to meet new people can require more effort and creativity.

    Overcoming these challenges in making friends in Washington requires patience, persistence, and actively seeking out opportunities to socialize and connect with like-minded individuals. Joining local groups or organizations, attending community events, and engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy can help in meeting new people and building meaningful relationships in the beautiful state of Washington.

  • Low Quality of Education

  • The quality of education in Washington is often seen as a drawback for those considering living in the state. While there are certainly reputable educational institutions in the area, overall the state consistently ranks lower in terms of education standards compared to other states in the country.

    One reason for this is the lack of funding for schools, resulting in limited resources and opportunities for students. This can have an impact on the quality of education, as schools may struggle to provide adequate materials, technology, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, the teacher-to-student ratio can be relatively high, which may limit individual attention and support for students.

    Furthermore, the curriculum in Washington may not always meet the highest standards. Some people feel that there is a lack of innovation and emphasis on critical thinking in the education system. This could hinder the development of essential skills needed for the modern workforce and limit opportunities for personal growth.

    Another concern is the disparity in educational quality between different regions of the state. Rural areas often have fewer resources and face difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled educators. This inequality can perpetuate a cycle of subpar education for certain communities.

    It's important to note, however, that while Washington may have lower educational standards overall, this doesn't mean that every school or district within the state is lacking. There are still pockets of excellence where students receive a top-notch education. Additionally, with the rise of remote working, families have more flexibility in choosing alternative education options such as online schools or homeschooling.

    Overall, if high-quality education is a top priority for you or your family, it's worth considering the potential drawbacks in this aspect when deciding whether to live and work remotely in Washington.

  • Dangerous Roads

  • While Washington offers a relatively safe living environment, one major drawback is the condition of its roads. Unfortunately, traffic accidents are a common occurrence in the state, making the roads a potential hazard for residents. Factors such as aggressive driving, poor road conditions, and inclement weather can contribute to an increased risk of accidents.

    During peak commuting hours, cities like Seattle often experience heavy congestion, adding to the challenges of navigating the roads. Additionally, Washington's mountainous terrain and winding roads can make driving more challenging, especially during periods of snow or ice. It's important to exercise caution and be prepared for adverse driving conditions in certain areas.

    To mitigate the risks, it is advisable to maintain a safe following distance, obey traffic laws, and keep a close eye on weather conditions. It may also be beneficial to invest in a reliable car with good safety features to ensure optimal protection on the road.

    Despite these challenges, it's worth noting that many people successfully navigate Washington's roads every day without incident. By being aware of the potential risks and taking appropriate precautions, you can help ensure your safety while commuting or traveling within the state.

  • Safety Concerns for Women

  • While Washington is generally considered a safe place to live, it's important to highlight some safety concerns for women. Unfortunately, like many other places, incidents of harassment, assault, and gender-based violence can occur. It's crucial for women to be aware of their surroundings, especially at night, and take necessary precautions such as avoiding walking alone in secluded areas. It's recommended to use public transportation or taxis when traveling alone during late hours. Additionally, it's advisable to inform friends or family of your plans and always trust your instincts. Despite the safety concerns, with proper awareness and precautions, women can still enjoy their time in Washington and reap the benefits it has to offer.

  • Not Family-friendly

  • Washington might not be the best choice for families looking for a child-friendly environment. While the state offers spacious and not crowded living spaces, it lacks several family-friendly amenities and activities.

    One of the main drawbacks is the limited options for entertainment and things to do, especially for children. Unlike larger cities, Washington doesn't have many amusement parks, family-friendly attractions, or recreational centers that cater specifically to kids. Families might find it challenging to keep their children engaged and entertained, especially during the summer months when outdoor activities are limited due to the extreme heat.

    Additionally, the quality of education in Washington is relatively low compared to other states. While there are some good schools, overall, the state's education system falls behind in terms of resources and academic performance. This can be a concern for families looking to provide their children with a top-tier education.

    Another aspect that might deter families is the safety concerns, especially for women and the LGBTQ+ community. Washington has been rated as not very safe for women, with higher levels of gender-based violence and harassment. Similarly, the state has been criticized for its lack of inclusivity and acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community, making it potentially unwelcoming for families with diverse backgrounds or individuals seeking an inclusive community.

    While Washington does have its merits and can be a great place to live and work remotely for some individuals, it's important to consider these drawbacks and their potential impact on families before making a decision to relocate.

  • Hostility towards LGBTQ+

  • Washington does have a reputation for being less inclusive and accepting towards the LGBTQ+ community compared to some other states. While progress has been made in recent years, there are still instances of discrimination and limited legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in certain areas. This can create an unwelcoming environment and make it challenging for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel fully embraced and safe. It's important to consider this aspect if you prioritize a supportive and inclusive community when choosing a place to live and work remotely.


    scenic view of washington


    In conclusion, living in Washington has its share of advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, the cost of living is relatively low, making it an affordable place to reside. The city is generally safe, with a good air quality index, which contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the warm climate throughout the year ensures that residents can enjoy outdoor activities and spend time in nature.

    Furthermore, Washington provides a spacious and less crowded environment compared to other bustling cities. This factor creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for its residents. Additionally, the city's business-friendly environment makes it easy for entrepreneurs and professionals to establish and grow their ventures.

    When it comes to healthcare, Washington boasts great hospitals with advanced medical facilities, ensuring the well-being of its residents. The democratic system allows for greater freedom and participation in decision-making processes. Moreover, a significant number of people in Washington are capable of speaking basic English, easing communication for foreigners.

    However, it is important to consider the downsides as well. The weak freedom of speech may limit the expression of ideas and opinions, which can be restrictive for some individuals. The internet connectivity can be slower compared to other regions, which may impede productivity, especially for those dependent on online services.

    Another point to note is that Washington may lack diverse entertainment options and activities, leaving some residents feeling that there isn't much to do. Additionally, the extreme heat during summer can be uncomfortable for some people. The social aspect can also be challenging, as making friends may require additional effort due to the difficulty in finding common interests and breaking the ice.

    Furthermore, the quality of education in Washington may not meet everyone's expectations, and the safety concerns for women and the LGBTQ+ community could pose challenges for those groups. The roads in Washington can also be hazardous at times, requiring caution for safe travel.

    While Washington offers affordable living, safety, and a business-friendly environment, it may not be the ideal place for everyone. It is essential to assess one's priorities and preferences before deciding to settle in Washington. Ultimately, a careful consideration of the pros and cons can help individuals determine whether Washington is the right place for them to call home.

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