Harrogate ranked best place in UK to Work From Home

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Image: Euan’s Guide

As millions of us dream of leaving the UK’s cities due to changing working patterns, Harrogate in Yorkshire has emerged as the best place to work from home. 

With its superfast 60Mbps broadband, huge amounts of green space in the area, low crime rates and good schools, the Yorkshire spa town tops the list as the UK’s ideal remote working location, according to research by Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

Bath and the Mendip area of Somerset — which includes England’s smallest city, Wells — come second and third in the Uswitch Remote Working Index, which ranks the desirability of the UK’s 100 biggest towns and cities based on broadband speed, green spaces, air quality, crime rates, quality of schools, and GPs per 100,000 people.

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 extensive nearby green spaces including The Gower peninsula.

Table: UK’s ten best places to work from home

Rank

Location

Broadband speed (Mbps)

Green space in local area 

Average property price

1

Harrogate

60.2

95%

£381,278

2

Bath and North East Somerset

54.8

86%

£419,005

3

Mendip

41.9

94%

£328,885

4

Derry City and Strabane

60.7

95%

£114,360

5

Wigan

75.3

61%

£161,403

6

Cheshire West and Chester

44.7

87%

£264,941

7

St Albans

75

75%

£689,166

8

York

56.1

81%

£298,215

9

City of Edinburgh

77.4

57%

£298,046

10

Swansea

73.3

80%

£191,516

Source: Uswitch Remote Working Index 2020. 

In comparison, the UK’s biggest cities rank poorly on the Index, with Birmingham 82nd, London in 88th place, and Manchester ranked 100th. 

When choosing a new place to live, half of people (53%) said house prices were most important, followed by green spaces (45%), crime rates (43%), broadband speeds (34%),  air quality (28%), local GP numbers (20%) and the quality of local schools (16%). 

A fifth of people (19%) want to spend more time working from home once the pandemic is over, and one in six employees (16%) want to work from home full time when life returns to normal. 

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%).

Almost a fifth of people (17%) say they have already moved or want to relocate due to the benefits of working from home. People generally want to move from cities and larger towns to smaller towns and villages.

One in four (23%) currently live in a city of more than 500,000 residents, but only one in nine (13%) wish to do so in the future. Conversely, the proportion who live in a village is only 15%, but rises to three in ten (30%) who would like to do so.  

  • New index reveals Harrogate in Yorkshire is the UK’s best place to work from home, with superfast broadband, good schools, low crime rates, and acres of green space on its doorstep
  • Bath and the Mendip area of Somerset sit second and third in Uswitch’s Remote Working Index, which ranks the UK’s biggest towns and cities on seven metrics, including crime rate, green spaces and number of local GPs
  • With a fifth (19%) of workers wanting to work from home more often, broadband speed is considered the most important factor by a third (34%) of people moving to a new area
  • Almost one in five (17%) have already moved or want to move due to remote working
  • Derry, Northern Ireland, comes fourth on the index, Edinburgh, Scotland, is ninth, and Swansea, Wales, is the tenth best place to work from home
  • The UK’s biggest cities fare poorly, with Birmingham in 82nd place, London 88th, and Manchester ranking 100th.

Adelana Carty, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, comments: 

“The pandemic has turned our working routines upside down and given many of us a taste for what our lives could be like if we worked from home on a more permanent basis. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in millions of people dreaming of ditching the rat race and moving away from the big city.

“Our Remote Working Index reveals some of the country’s best places to work remotely and Harrogate comes top thanks to its superfast broadband, huge amount of green spaces, good schools and great doctor numbers.” 

Chris Price
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