Life is Easy for Remote Workers in Faulkton, South Dakota
Monday, September 28, 2020
“The town motto is ‘We believe in possible.’ In this town, everything is.”
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 43 percent of the workforce worked from home at least some of the time according to Gallup data. With the pandemic, that percentage increased, and many people switched completely to remote work. With that switch, many found a certain freedom. In April 2020, people in the U.S. relocated at twice the rate they did one year ago, and that higher rate of moves continued through May, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Workers are looking to relocate from more populated, pricey metros to smaller cities where they can more easily social distance, get more bang for their buck, and in general, have a safer and improved quality of life. With all of these amenities in mind, Faulkton, South Dakota is the perfect place for remote workers to live their best lives.
Eric and Stephanie Kaiser made their move to Faulkton in 2019, and their story is one of remote working success and satisfaction. The Kaisers were both born and raised in St. Louis — with some years spent in the Dallas area — but were familiar with Faulkton because of a yearly family reunion. In March 2019, they came to the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater sponsored by the local arts council, and they never wanted to leave. Eric and Stephanie said, “things just fell in place,” and the move was made.
One of the most important things to facilitate the move was Eric’s ability to continue his job in home lending operations at CitiBank.
“My experience of telecommuting here has been very easy,” said Eric. “Our prior living experiences were primarily in very urban areas. You would have thought technology and internet access would have been at its finest. We actually have the fastest speed ever living here.” Eric said he also appreciates that all of the streets, the sewer system, the electrical poles, and the internet infrastructure have all been upgraded.
And when he does have to travel for work? That’s easy too. “The drive to the airport is only an hour away,” said Eric. “Even when we lived in big cities, we would spend at least an hour getting inside the actual airport, if not more, because of traffic and parking. The ease of checking in at The Aberdeen Airport is unlike any other experience. There are no lines. There's no congestion or traffic getting to the airport. There's no time wasted. You can go from the car to the airplane in less than five minutes.”
The rest of the family was able to find jobs too. “It was a very easy experience to find employment here for everyone,” said Stephanie. “I am teaching Middle School Language Arts in Ipswich,” said Stephanie, “and I actually like the short drive to work as opposed to the traffic I struggled with in St. Louis and Dallas. All of our boys found jobs shortly after we moved here.”
Small town life did not mean they had to sacrifice daily conveniences. “Everything you need is here in town,” said Eric and Stephanie. “It's so convenient. We can get a whole day of errands done in less than 10 minutes. The number of tasks we accomplish here would have taken us hours in our prior communities simply because of the traffic and congestion.”
“Everything here is built around the family,” said Eric and Stephanie. “There are several churches, several parks, a beautiful city garden, a pool, a free carousel for the kids, a museum, a library, a gym and a community center. There are many sports teams for every age, as well as a bowling alley, a movie theater, and a golf course. The Faulkton Area Arts Council brings in several local artists to work with the kids every year, and there are numerous murals to enjoy on evening walks. We love the local bars and the locally owned places to eat. These are only a few of the things that we enjoy.”
The Kaisers also have peace of mind knowing there is a dentist office, a clinic with specialists, a hospital, and a pharmacy. They are impressed with the school system. “We love how the teachers know our kids and recognize any areas of concern,” said Eric and Stephanie. “We love how they communicate things to parents.” Their oldest son is attending Dakota State University for cyberoperations, one of the top programs in the nation.
But even with all of these amenities and benefits, it was the people of Faulkton that made the Kaisers want to call it home. “We couldn't believe the way the people just come together to support each other,” said Eric and Stephanie. “We saw the way people volunteered and worked to jump in whenever something was going on. To this day, it's still the people.”
The Kaisers picked up that spirit of volunteerism in their community and ran with it. Eric is on the Faulkton Area Economic Development Board and the Board at Our Savior Lutheran Church. Stephanie helped out on a project for the City Tourism Committee and has worked with Our Savior on several committees. Eric said they are both working alongside their pastor with the youth group for their church.
As the couple and their boys tend to their chickens and renovate their historic home, they are happy with where they planted their new life. “Faulkton is a wonderful community of families that take care of the people and the town,” said Eric and Stephanie. “The mindset here is to take care of each other. That has always been who we are as a family. The town motto is ‘We believe in possible.’ In this town, everything is.”
Faulkton Area Economic Development is truly the type of organization that would be pleased to help you with information to plan your relocation. With a cost of living that is 26.0% lower than the U.S. average, why wait? Phone 605-598-3050 or 605-949-9507 or email Trevor Cramer, Director of Economic Development, at email@example.com.