DURBAN - The Coronavirus has accelerated the trend toward telecommuting and may permanently take hold than many predicted when remote work technology first emerged.
The pandemic has also created a huge interest in suburban living around the world, with some towns and cities around paying remote workers to move there to support a dwindling population.
However, to live in these towns applicants have to commit to carrying out some charity work in the community, from helping the elderly to taking care of the environment, at least once a month.
Below are some places offering a mix of low living costs and money to people moving there:
Savannah, United States: Since May, the city of Savannah, Georgia, has been offering up to $2,000 to cover relocation expenses for remote tech workers who move to the area for at least a year.
Emilia Romagna, Italy: Italy's northeastern Emilia Romagna region has pledged to hand up to 30,000 euros ($34,000) to young families who make one of the towns and villages in the Apennines Mountains their home. Applicants must be under 40.
Mishima, Japan: The village of Mishima, which covers three small southern islands, has long been offering 85,000 yen ($800) per month for three years to people who move there, as well as a lump payment of 300,000 yen or a calf. Applicants have to be under 55 years of age. Additional incentives are provided to couples and families with children.
Topeka, United States: In 2019, the city of Topeka, Kansas, began offering up to $15,000 to employees of local firms willing to buy or rent a home there. After a spike in interest during the pandemic, it is planning to extend the scheme to remote workers.
Cinquefrondi, Italy: In June, the village of Cinquefrondi, in the southern region of Calabria, started offering abandoned homes for 1 euro ($1.10) to people willing to move in and renovate.
Tulsa, United States: Tulsa, in Oklahoma, has been offering $10,000 in cash as part of an incentives programme for remote workers to move there since 2018.
Luserna, Italy: The mountain village of Luserna in northern Italy is hoping to boost its population of fewer than 300 people by offering four empty homes rent-free for four years to couples aged between 18 and 40.
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