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The Phoenix office tower in Houston, Texas. The Lone Star State was the top stated destination for executives considering moving their operations. Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images

A survey of C-suite executives found more than a quarter are considering moving their operations to another state or country.

Why it matters: The forced march to remote work during the pandemic has shaken loose the bonds that tie large businesses to their home territory — and that could be bad news for high-cost cities and states.

By the numbers: In a poll of 150 C-suite executives released today and conducted by the consulting firm West Monroe, 29% of companies reported they were considering moving major operations or headquarters to another state or country.

  • The biggest reason was the cost of talent and living in their current location, followed by the burden of taxes.
  • Not surprisingly, the No. 1 destination under consideration was Texas, followed by Florida — two states with generally low costs of living and low tax burdens.

Of note: West Monroe's chief strategy officer Tom Bolger tells Axios the West Coast "had by far more companies looking to relocate than any other geographical area in the survey."

  • That dovetails with recent reporting about tech companies and founders looking to relocate out of the Bay Area, which has some of the highest housing prices in the country.
  • That includes Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who said in December that he was moving from California to Texas.

Be smart: Companies complaining about the high cost of living and working in states like California or New York is hardly new, but the embrace of remote work — accelerated by the pandemic — has given workers and CEOs more options.

  • Nearly half of the executives polled by West Monroe said they had plans to split their workforces between remote and onsite, though only 1% said they would go fully remote.
"If I'm paying major city taxes in a place like New York City and it doesn't really matter for me if I'm in New York, why not go somewhere that's less expensive?"
— Tom Bolger

The bottom line: Mayors of high-cost cities may need to fight to keep their businesses.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Technology

Tech companies gobble up office space

Facebook leased a whopping 730,000 square feet in Manhattan's iconic Farley building in 2020. Photo: Ben Hider/Getty Images

The pandemic-induced shift to remote work has pushed Corporate America to rethink the need for office space.

By the numbers: The signing of new leases and the renewals of existing leases fell 36% in 2020, compared with 2019, according to a new report from the commercial real estate firm CBRE, shared exclusively with Axios.

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Heat dome roasts Northwest, Central states as "derecho" threat looms in Midwest

Weather map showing a sprawling heat dome centered over Kansas on July 30, 2021. (WeatherBell.com)

The latest in a series of relentless heat waves is bringing dangerously hot temperatures to a the Central U.S. on Wednesday, and will contribute to a severe thunderstorm outbreak across the Upper Midwest. The heat will expand in scope toward the end of the week.

The big picture: Heat watches, warnings and advisories are in effect across 19 states, from Portland, Oregon east to Minneapolis, and running all the way south to New Orleans. Temperatures of between 10°F and 15°F above average in these areas along with high humidity poses a public health threat.