Internet speeds & rent costs | The WORST UK cities for homeworking

The WORST UK cities for homeworking

London, Cardiff and Sheffield have been ranked three of the worst UK cities for working from home, new research has found.

According to data from the online printing firm Instantprint, high monthly renting costs (£1,600), high living costs (£831) and an average property size of 65.6m₂ contributed to a low ranking for ‘the big smoke’.

This news comes as data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 86% of the nation work from home at least some of the time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bristol, Bournemouth, Glasgow and Southampton were also identified as some of the worst UK cities for working from home.

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Jon Constantine-Smith, Head of Instantprint, said that working from home over long periods of time can take some getting used to.

Working from home long-term, especially when it’s something we don’t have a choice in, can take some getting used to, and even more so if you’re limited on space and may not have the fastest internet speeds,” he explained.

See a full list of the worst UK cities for working from home below:

Worst UK Cities for Working from Home 

Final Rank 












On the other end of the scale, Belfast, Birmingham and Nottingham appeared in the top three best cities in the UK for homeworking.

High average internet download speed (64.1mbps) was one factor that contributed to Belfast’s high score.

Manchester, Leicester, Cambridge and Newcastle were also identified as top UK cities for working from home.

See a full list of the best UK cities for working from home below:

Best UK Cities for Working from Home 

Final Rank 












The online printing firm created a points system taking a variety of factors into account that made for a smooth day working from home.

This included factors such as: 2020 population (a gauge of potential noise); average internet download speeds, average monthly rent 2020; average property price 2020 among others.

While Belfast was named the best city for homeworking, it was found to be one of the least productive cities for working from home, alongside London, Cardiff and Norwich.

Elsewhere, Instantprint’s research looked into some of the biggest distractions for UK adults when working from home.

Unsurprisingly, children (28%), partners (24%), pets (20%) and completing chores in-between tasks (20%) ranked highly on the list of distractions.

Of course, as Constantine-Smith explained, there are “naturally more distractions for us around the home” yet he said that employees should not be so hard on themselves.

“Remember that there were also distractions in your normal working environment, whether that be an office, a studio, or otherwise.

“As such, it’s integral that we create a calm and comfortable working environment, ensuring we can make a clear separation between our work and home lives – even if they may be sharing a space for now,” Constantine-Smith added.

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