At some point over the course of their careers, many business owners and entrepreneurs notice that their mental health is affecting their work performance—whether it’s due to stress, lack of community resources for mental health, lack of days off, or the inability to access business resources in their city.
In an effort to help owners and entrepreneurs cope with the issues, we’ve put together a list of the best cities for your mental health as a business owner—to help you decide not only where to plant your business’s roots but also important things to look out for wherever your business ends up.
Here are the best cities for prioritizing your mental health at work.
Portland is a mecca for all things music, dining, and coffee. But what draws people here may not be the stereotypical “granola” vibes that have dominated perceptions (and influenced a hit TV show) for so long. The “City of Roses” is one of the least stressed cities on the U.S. map. With relatively low financial, health and safety stress, Portland residents can rest a little easier outside of work hours, knowing that the cost of living is on the low end and health and wellness resources are high.
It’s also one of the cities with the best work–life balance as well as green space—two things that are incredibly important for the mental health of small business owners. When you’re starting a business, “9 to 5” may not mean much anymore. To avoid burnout, Portlandians can head to the nearest park (according to Geotab, there are 856 square feet of green space per person) or jog along the Willamette River.
Access to business resources is another way to avoid day-to-day stress, whether financial or organizational. The Portland Business Alliance offers small business resources—from free advising to education programs and more. Use this to your advantage to help build your business support system. You can also continue to build your business’s professional network with a Portland coworking office or virtual office.
It’s no wonder that Boston is a hub for residents, college students, and business owners. The city is rich in history, culture, and clam chowder (sorry, we had to). But it’s also one of the least stressed cities, ranking 134 out of 182 cities. WalletHub’s ranking includes total work stress, financial stress, and health and safety stress. And Suffolk County, which encompasses Boston, ranks very high in overall well-being, while Massachusetts ranks number 1 in the country. Boston residents can find healthcare facilities and community resources for mental health more easily than the average American, perhaps due to statewide measures to allow better access to mental health professionals.
For these reasons, Beantown is an excellent place for business owners to prioritize their mental health. Though starting a business here may be more expensive than in other cities with a lower cost of living, your access to health resources, high wages, and community support may help you avoid poor mental health at work. The City of Boston’s Economic Development Center even offers free workshops for small business development, giving you more peace of mind as you start out on your new venture.
About 10 miles south of Salt Lake City is Midvale, a community settled between the picturesque Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains. When you’re looking for one of the most relaxed cities in the West, this town should be on your radar. According to Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index, Salt Lake County ranks number 3 out of 29 counties in Utah, and Utah ranks number 10 out of all 50 states. Salt Lake County ranks higher than the national average on economic security, housing and transportation, and healthcare and food access—all potential contributors to overall mental health and stress. And according to the study by Kisi, the Salt Lake City area is top on the list of healthy work–life balance. It cites that only 14.2 percent of the working population feels overworked by their jobs.
The better access you have to resources that can help guide and grow your company, the better your mental health may be at work. Midvale small businesses know that they have a support network and potential financial relief with loans and incentives. It’s one of the best small cities for starting a business due to its strategic location near Salt Lake City’s excellent pool of resources and incentives for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Use a virtual office in the greater Salt Lake Valley or book a coworking space to collaborate with fellow professionals.
Tucked into the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area is Fremont, one of the most stress-free places to live in the U.S. It has one of the lowest poverty rates and highest median credit score rates of 182 cities researched. Business owners here may balk at the high cost of living (median home values are a whopping $900,000), but the access to business resources in the Bay Area is wow-worthy. These resources may help relieve the stress of starting your venture in an expensive area to live in.
Alameda County also scores higher than the national average in most areas surrounding overall well-being—from food access and economic security to community and financial confidence. Most business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs realize that mental health affects work performance, which is why these high marks are noteworthy.
Settle your company here by securing a virtual office in nearby Oakland.
You might not think of Minneapolis as one of the most laid-back cities (cities in Hawaii or California usually come to mind), but it does prioritize a healthy work–life balance more than most large cities in the U.S. A large contributor to this balance is the 40 percent of jobs that can be done remotely, which may lead to more family time, mental health days at work, and job security. Your working environment may benefit If you can conduct business remotely and live in this half of the Twin Cities, where financial and work stress is low compared to other U.S. cities. Learn more about how to start a remote business.
Minneapolis business owners have access to a plethora of resources, such as mentoring programs, workshops, and business consulting opportunities throughout the metro area. Pair that with a Minneapolis coworking space or virtual office to network with other business-minded locals, and you have yourself a community that can help support you—both professionally and mentally—throughout your venture.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Picture yourself relaxing on a white-sand beach, having your pick of cultural activities and fine dining, and kayaking in Tampa Bay. These are just a few of the reasons why residents and business owners alike relocate to and stay in St. Petersburg, Florida.
This Gulf Coast town enjoys low work and financial stress as well as overall lower work intensity than in other U.S. cities. Perhaps this is due to almost 40 percent of the job force having remote working opportunities and the overworked population coming in at 12.7 percent, according to Kisi. Or maybe it’s because St. Petersburg has around 250 sunny days every year and outdoor activities are almost endless. Getting adequate sunshine, fresh air, and exercise between meetings may help regulate your mood and improve your mental health at work.
Get started in the Sunshine City, and set up your St. Petersburg virtual office today.
Wisconsin’s capital is more than just government and legislation—Madison is a vibrant area that attracts students, outdoorsy types, business owners, and more because it’s one of the least stressed cities in the country. Starting or relocating your business here may benefit your mental health at work, with 95 percent of Madison residents living within 10 minutes of a park or green space (for context, the national average is 55 percent).
According to Sharecare, Madison’s access to healthcare far exceeds the national average, perhaps due in part to new mental health services in Dane County. Not only will you have access to ample health resources, but you’ll also have support with resources to help business owners like you get your company off the ground or work through specific business-related issues. Access resources like the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center and the Madison chapter of Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.
Your business can receive more support with a virtual office in Madison. Or choose a Madison coworking space that you can rent month to month to mingle with like-minded professionals in your business vertical.
These cities are some of the best places to experience a healthy work–life balance while starting and growing your business endeavors.
But how do you streamline your workflow to reduce day-to-day stress and avoid poor working-from-home mental health?
Alliance Virtual Offices is the final piece to the puzzle. We offer the support your business needs to succeed. Leverage the benefits of mail forwarding, the security of a virtual business address, and the daily support of Live Receptionists who handle your calls. Use a professional space away from home with a virtual office, meeting room, or coworking space.
Keep in mind that a virtual office allows you to work from anywhere, so living in the same city as your business isn’t crucial.