With COVID-19 nearing an end, many companies are allowing employees to remain remote. In fact, the productivity numbers from Upwork have shown they’re likely to be 47% more productive when remote working rather than in the office. This number represents a 13% increase from pre-pandemic numbers.
Workers feelings about their employer changed, too. Over half of people surveyed reported feeling more appreciated at their jobs if given the opportunity to work at home. HR experts at the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) also coach managers—if you’re worried about someone “taking advantage” of the hybrid or remote schedule, maybe it’s time to get a new, A-team player who’s a self-starter you can trust to get the job done wherever they are.
Let’s say you have a “woke” employer who knows the benefits of remote work. You can go anywhere? Why not Rangely?
1. The Burr family, basketball and the Bureau of Land Management
We spoke to Cyndie Burr about her experience relocating to Rangely during the pandemic. With a daughter smack dab in the middle of her junior year, Burr and her husband Brad didn’t know if they should move—but they had to thanks to Brad’s new job at the highly rated Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely.
“I was worried but now my daughter Hayley asks us why we didn’t move to Rangely sooner.”
Hayley plays basketball and is a state championship track and field competitor now that they moved out of the big city. She and her friends go down to Kenney Reservoir after school to swim or float on inner tubes. And her Mom walks a block to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands where she can indulge her passion for hiking to her heart’s content.
“Women in Rangely reached out to us, and me in particular, to invite me to lunch and to make me feel welcome. In days, when we moved into our new home, all of the neighbors stopped in to introduce themselves. It was so great to feel that small-town, warm welcome,” Cyndie said.
2. Wi-Fi and dark skies
Jeannie Caldwell moved to Rangely two years ago as a remote worker with a company she had been employed with for several years. As a sales manager with direct reports, she needed dependable Wi-Fi—her team was Zooming regularly before the rest of us even started finding cool background pics for our pandemic meetings. Rangely has 1GB fiber-optic internet services which is ideal for remote workers.
“I can’t tell you how peaceful, dark and quiet it is here at night. You can see the Milky Way and so many stars. It’s a safe, good feeling, though—we all know each other and watch out for each other,” she laughs. “Even if you see a kid doing something maybe they shouldn’t be, you’re like, ‘I know you, I’m calling your mother,” Caldwell said. “It’s really idyllic.” People who discover Rangely call it the small-town America you thought was lost forever.
3. Outdoor everything
From Kenney Reservoir to being known as the “Tire Sports Capital of the World,” Rangely has so much for families who love four-wheeling, fishing, canoeing, camping and just being out in nature. You may have to plan to get to the REI in Grand Junction for super-specialty items (an hour fifteen minutes away) or out to Vernal City, Utah ( about 45 minutes) but a True Value on Main Street and the grocers there will often have exactly what you need to take advantage of the great open spaces Rangely offers.
“You may be surprised at how many visitors you will get once you move here,” Caldwell said. “We’re practically on the grounds of Dinosaur National Monument; we have an excellent golf course and every outdoor sport you can think of in Rangely. Hunting, fishing, and just soaking up the sun during a long day tubing right here in town will make you the most popular destination in your family.”
The regional airports in Grand Junction and in Vernal City also have reasonable flights out to Salt Lake International and Denver International to get you anywhere you need to be, for work or pleasure.
4. Families first—the free associates degree for Rangely High School students
When Cyndie, Brad and Hayley moved to Rangely, they were able to immediately enroll Hayley into a concurrent enrollment for credits at CNCC, the highly rated community college. Young adults receiving their associates’ degree there at the same time they graduate high school gain earning power, as well. The choice to take aviation technology (pilot program), aviation maintenance technology (AMT) dental hygiene and so many more high paying, right-out-of-the-gate careers makes the degree way more than the way to save for a four-year degree. Many concurrent graduates have an easier time getting accepted since they have proven they can hack the demands of college-level curricula as high schoolers.
“We loved the fact that the high school kids here were a tight knit community—but not a clique at all. Hayley was welcomed and actively helped by track coaches and others to really get the most out of her Rangely experience,” Cyndie said.
5. Fresh air, clear skies and wildlife
The commute is grimy on the interstate this summer, clouds of exhaust and careless drivers making you wish you were anywhere else. Rangely has wild horses and Native American petroglyphs to visit after work on your ATV. Deer, elk, antelope, osprey, great horned owls, mountain lions, bobcats and golden and bald eagles abound here. Amateur photographers love it here, plus you and your kids won’t want to throw yourself on the couch and turn on Netflix—you’d rather play in the great outdoors.
Kids ride their ATVs to school in Rangely and hang out hiking, fishing and waterskiing on a local reservoir after school and all summer. You’re always stressed trying to get your kid where she needs to go for ballet, soccer and any number of birthday parties. Plus forget trying to score a great summer day camp with all of the activities kids love to do together in Rangely—just on their own. Of course, you might have just as much trouble with policing screen time, but Rangely youth tend to spend many more hours outside rather than watching TV. That’s how peer pressure can work for you!
“We are available at Town Hall for summer visitors to ask us anything about living in Rangely,” Caldwell says. “We can guarantee to make you feel right at home.”