Revealed: the best and worst places in the UK to work from home

Yorkshire spa town tops new index as biggest cities trail behind

Yellow spring flowers in the Spa town of Harrogate
(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A winning combination of fast internet speeds, highly rated schools and plentiful green spaces have helped Harrogate secure the top spot in a new ranking of the UK’s best place to work from home.

Situated on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales, the spa town “has the most green space compared with more than 100 other areas of the UK, as well as being next to the medieval city of Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, says The Telegraph.

Other towns and cities that rank high in Uswitch’s Remote Working Index include Bath and Mendip, both of which are in Somerset, Derry in Northern Ireland and Wigan in Greater Manchester.

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At the other end of the scale, the price comparison service has rated Ipswich in Suffolk, Sandwell in the West Midlands, Lancashire’s Blackpool, Leicester and Manchester as the least desirable locations for home workers. London and Birmingham also fail to impress, coming in at 88th and 82nd respectively on the list, which rates a total of 104 towns and cities across the UK.

Home working has become the new norm for many employees during the coronavirus pandemic. According to Office for National Statistics data, that the number of people working exclusively from home rose from 21% to 24% in the wake of the government’s advice in September for staff to stay away from offices.

And a survey earlier this month of 958 company chiefs by the Institute of Directors (IoD) found that nearly three-quarters (74%) planned to continue with increased home-working post-coronavirus.

IoD director of policy Roger Barker said: “Remote working has been one of the most tangible impacts of coronavirus on the economy. For many, it could be here to stay.”

The UK’s top five places to work from home

  1. Harrogate
  2. Bath and North East Somerset
  3. Mendip
  4. Derry City and Strabane
  5. Wigan

And the worst five places to work from home

  1. Ipswich
  2. Sandwell
  3. Leicester
  4. Manchester
  5. Blackpool

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.