Ranked: The best cities and towns to work from home in the UK

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
England, Northyorkshire, Harrogate, Spa Town. (Photo by: Mahaux Charles/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Harrogate was found to be the top destination to work from home from, according to a new index. Photo: Mahaux Charles/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Harrogate has been named the UK’s best place to work from home, with considerations such as good schools, fast 60 mbps broadband, low crime rates and acres of green space pushing it into the top spot.

Average house prices in Harrogate are £381,278 ($493,050).

Bath and the Mendip area of Somerset are close behind, ranked second and third, in a Uswitch Remote Working Index survey. The average property price in Somerset is £419,005, while in Mendip it’s £328,885.

The top three are followed by Derry City and Strabane, Wigan, Cheshire, St Albans, York, Edinburgh and Swansea. Swansea scores highly due to fast broadband and close proximity of extensive nearby green spaces including the Gower peninsula.

The index ranks the UK’s biggest towns and cities on seven metrics, including crime rate, green spaces and number of local GPs per 100,000 people.

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As the coronavirus pandemic took hold at the start of the year, the majority of workers were forced to evaluate their home-working setups. Now a fifth (19%) of workers want to work from home more often and consider broadband speeds the most important factor by a third (34%) when moving to a new area.

The proportion of people hoping to spend three or more days working from home each week is expected to double from less than one in five (17%) to more than a third (35%).

Nearly a fifth (17%) of people polled have already moved or want to move due to the increase in remote working. People generally want to move from cities and larger towns to smaller towns and villages.

The UK’s biggest cities brought up the rear with the index, with Birmingham in 82nd place, London 88th, and Manchester ranking 100th.

When choosing a new place to live, half of people (53%) said house prices were most important to them. This is followed by the proximity to green spaces (45%).

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Adelana Carty, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “After house prices, the amount of green space in the area is the biggest priority for people hoping to work from home, and places like Swansea look hugely appealing when you think of the gorgeous Gower peninsula on its doorstep.

“If you’re moving to a new area to work remotely, the speed and reliability of your broadband connection could be one of the most important things about your new location.”

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