Working From Paradise - Remote Working From Home In Hawaii

Working From Paradise

The pandemic brought a wave of uncertainty about office work throughout the world. While many companies are insisting that workers must return to the office sooner rather than later, there are a few out there doing the opposite and granting workers permanent remote working status. With this, remote workers can opt to move to different locations to complete their work.

Well - where better to work than Hawaii? The state is a paradise, filled with great views, people, food, and some of the most coveted real estate in the nation.

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It’s not for everyone, though. Time Zone differences between the mainland and Hawaii usually mean an early start to the day - which could spell trouble for night owls.

What Is Full-Time Remote Work Life Like?

Working from home can save on commuting costs, free up time for the family, and be overall better for your mental health. But full-time remote work is definitely not for everyone. It requires a lot of self-discipline. You have all of the distractions and comforts of home telling you to relax - but you still need to do work.

It does have a lot of upsides, though.  Remote workers are usually in tech or creative fields, which can transplant easier than some other career types. This segment of workers predominantly use computers already, so they’re just switching environments.

Coffee table and chairs in a lounge area looking over Honolulu

If you’re doing the same work and just switching environments - why not work from paradise?

Is Working Remotely From Hawaii Viable?

Absolutely. Hawaii is perfectly viable for remote workers who want to work from the mainland. Of course, this will ultimately depend on which island and neighborhood you move to - internet speeds and reliability can vary, just like on the mainland. There are a few factors that can make it more difficult, such as cost of living and time zones - but once you tackle those, the rest comes easy.

Invest In Good Cell Service

Remote work requires reliable connectivity so you'll want to make sure that you invest in a quality cell service provider. The three major US carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile provide cell service in Hawaii. Over 93% of the state's land area is covered by wireless service. 5G network coverage is already available and being expanded throughout the state.

Best Island For Remote Workers

This ultimately comes down to what island most suits your particular preferences. Oahu is the most populated of the islands, as well as the most connected to the mainland. If you need specialty supplies, specialty medical care, or the ability to travel to the mainland on demand - Oahu is probably your best bet.

Airplanes at the airport in Honolulu

Related: What Is The Best Hawaiian Island To Live On?

Maui and Big Island are great in their own right, but Oahu has the most variety and the largest population. In addition, Oahu is the only island that has much of a life going on past 8 PM. If you’re a night owl that likes to go out at night, it’s definitely the island for you.

Best Neighborhoods For Remote Workers On Oahu

As with the above question - it all comes down to your particular needs and interests. Oahu is pretty well connected on the internet side, so remote workers should be able to set up shop virtually anywhere. As with anywhere, though - double check with internet service providers in the area before deciding.

Related: Best Oahu Neighborhoods For Remote Workers

If you want the paradise life without the hassle of owning and maintaining a house, urban core condos might be right for you. These give you the convenience of living within the city and are often loaded with amenities. The Kakaako and Ala Moana areas are two hot new areas coming up in Honolulu, with completed and new development towers throughout.

Aerial view of Honolulu with condo tower under construction

The Park at Ward Village is one such example. Designed during the pandemic, units in The Park have had extra care put into making sure residents are comfortable staying close to home. It is located in Ward Village, a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood that intends to bring the “perfect mix of urban and island living.”

What You Should Know About Remote Work Life Like In Hawaii

While it’s true, Hawaii is a paradise - there are some things you should know before you make the leap.

RelatedLiving In Hawaii - My Perspective From Living Here 20 Years

People relaxing on a hilltop in Honolulu

Life here tends to be a bit more relaxed, with people going about their business at a slower pace than the mainland. It makes it easy to forget the important factors - like how Hawaii doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time, or how the Cost of Living in Hawaii is higher than most places on the mainland.

Great Internet Connectivity

A solid internet connection is crucial for remote work. You'll be glad to know that internet services across Hawaii are generally very solid with no reliability issues. Fiber optic-based internet services are available to over 50% of all people in the state. The average speeds are quite fast and more than enough for what most remote workers would need. You can expect prices to start at $39.99 for residential internet plans offering 300 Mbps speeds. Our detailed Hawaii utility costs post has more information about the internet service providers, speeds, and pricing.

Time Zones

Because Hawaii is further east than the mainland United States, Hawaii falls several hours earlier than the mainland United States. Daylight savings isn't observed here either - so if you have meetings with people from the mainland, you'll need to be prepared for their time shift.

This can make timing work calls a bit confusing at first and a few times per year. During daylight savings time, from March to November, a virtual meeting at 10 AM San Francisco time is 7 AM Hawaii time. From the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March, that same 10 AM San Francisco time meeting takes place at 8 AM Hawaii time.

Cost Of Living In Hawaii

The Cost of Living in Hawaii is fairly high, which is to be expected. As a series of islands that are not fully self-sufficient, many things need to be imported from the mainland. The distance, duration, and difficulty of shipping certain items can especially drive up their price. When budgeting for groceries, you really need to shop with intent.

RelatedCost of Living In Hawaii

Houses with sunset views in Hawaii

But where the higher prices come into effect the most is in the real estate industry. Hawaii real estate is different from real estate on the mainland. To start, it’s some of the most coveted land in the nation. From Kahala and Diamond Head luxury neighborhoods to the beach neighborhood of Lanikai Kailua. There’s a very limited amount of land to go around, making every portion precious.

Mainland Relationships

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of living in Hawaii is the distance it imparts on relationships. This was especially highlighted throughout the pandemic as restrictions were piled on. It’s a natural part of life, drifting apart from old family and friends - but that doesn’t make it any easier. The time zones alone can make keeping in touch difficult, let alone the time constraints of travel.

Tips For Remote Working From Hawaii

Working from home can be a major adjustment, particularly if you've been used to an office environment. There are more opportunities to become distracted or lazy while you're home. These are just a few general tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that your productivity doesn't nosedive when working from home.

Set a schedule to keep you on track. Set up your workspace away from living or communal spaces to minimize distractions. Do take short breaks to boost productivity and what better way to do that than to take full advantage of Hawaii's beauty. Go for a quick jog or explore one of the best hiking trails. Enjoy surfing and bodysurfing. With Hawaii's great year-round weather, you'll never be stuck indoors.

Relocating From The Mainland

Moving from the mainland to Hawaii as a remote worker isn’t always easy - you need to prepare ahead of time. As with anyone planning to move to Hawaii, I very highly recommend getting to know the neighborhood you intend to move to first. If you are currently a remote worker, consider visiting for a few weeks while you continue working.

Like anywhere, the community you choose to live in can have a major impact on your happiness. The last thing you want is to move to a neighborhood far away from everything you previously knew - only to find that you hate your new community.

RelatedMoving To Hawaii - Make The Dream Come True

Movers & Shakas

Movers and Shakas is a program created with the intent of leveraging the remote work evolution to attract and retain key talent in Hawaii. This program especially welcomes returning kama’aina, encouraging brain gain in sectors especially suited to the state. As the situation evolved, the program shifted towards helping newly relocated professionals to acclimate in the workplace, culturally, and socially - read more about the Hawaii Talent Onboarding Program (HITOP) here!

Is Moving To Hawaii As A Remote Worker Right For You?

I can’t give a flat answer that will fit every individual reading this. Every person is different, with different levels of attachment to their mainland relationships, risk tolerance, community preferences, and incalculable other factors. Hawaii is paradise. Some people can live in paradise, but others prefer just to visit.

Planning a move to Hawaii? Check out our Moving To Hawaii page

Drink and sunglasses with island in the background

Hawaii has everything you need to support a remote work lifestyle and we'll be glad to help you find the best home to work remotely from. We specialize in helping people buy their dream homes and move to Hawaii. Request a consultation below or give us a call at 1-(808) 427-0867 and we'll get you sorted.

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