Remote working has fast become ‘the new normal’ for many of us.
Broadband speeds, cost of living, house prices, nearby parks… What makes somewhere a good town for working from home?
The numbers have been crunched and recent research has ranked ten of the best so you can see who comes out on top.
Behind the research
Stay at home. How many times do you think we’ve all heard that in the past year? In our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, many offices closed (some permanently) and much of the country started working remotely.
The effect the pandemic has had on our way of life is already transforming the housing market and making certain places property hotspots. For many, commuting and tackling rush hour have been swapped for remote working. This changed the criteria for many buying a property and moving to a new town. People now want somewhere that ticks all the boxes for living and working. For some, London commuter towns have lost their appeal.
4,000 UK towns have been ranked across 12 categories, covering everything from access to green spaces to life satisfaction.
Best towns for remote working
Who comes out top of the class? See for yourself:
A historic Welsh village just south of Cardiff, Llandough has earned its place at the top of the leaderboard, a true all-rounder. With a population of just over 2,000 and plenty of green spaces for walks (including a Roman settlement no less), it’s ideal for striking a good work-life balance.
Some more good news, there are plenty of good cafes if you fancy a break from your home office. The broadband speeds aren’t half bad either.
Coming in a close second is Skidby, located in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber. It has a number of great cafe spots, which is great news should your WiFi go down.
If you fancy a bit fresh air and need to get away from your desk, there’s an abundance of green space. The village is known for agricultural land, both hilly and flat.
Third on the list is Awsworth, usually popular with tourists, but will likely increase in popularity with those looking to settle somewhere and work from home. Home to a number of nice eateries, places to wander and things to see, it’s got a nice mix of quiet and buzzy.
4. Kirkby Lonsdale
Sick and tired of laggy video calls? Taking the top spot for fastest broadband is Kirkby Lonsdale, a historic market town that sits on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
It’s not all about WiFi of course. A score of 78.5 out of 100 comes from a number of factors. The town is full of plenty of things to see and do, including Ruskins View, which offers views of a breathtaking panorama. There are waterfall trails to be found too.
5. Astley Village
Scoring high when it comes to well being, Astley Village promises its residents happiness and satisfaction outside of the home office. If you’re looking for nice cafes, restaurants and takeaway joints, this Lancashire town is an ideal place to live.
Second on the list in the well being category, Sproughton is a village situated in Suffolk. The River Gipping runs through the entire village, creating many scenic views. Residents report lower anxiety levels compared to certain parts of the UK and high life satisfaction.
With a score of 75.9 out of 100, the Lancashire town of Ribby-with-Wrea has a small population, great broadband and boasts good quality of life for its residents. It’s also home to some excellent primary schools, good news for families with children.
8. Great Coates
Located in North East Lincolnshire, this town has a rich history. Great Coates scores highly when it comes to the broadband, restaurants and well being categories. For this reason, it easily sits in this top 10 list with a score of 74.8.
9. Reedley Hallows
Reedley Hallows comes out on top when it comes to the most high-performing schools. Winning this category is coveted by many towns, but this one in Lancashire takes the crown. The average house price here is £135,160, low compared to much of the UK, particularly the South East of England.
We’ve headed to Scotland for the number 10 spot of overall category winners. Glenmavis is a village in the North Lanarkshire area of Scotland. Here, the average price of a property will set you back around £126,439, so it’s little wonder it scores highly when it comes to the cheapest house prices category. It also does well when it comes to accessing green spaces.
Winners mapped by category
Fast WiFi, green spaces, great local schools… We all have different priorities when searching for somewhere to live. Is there something you’re looking for in particular? Here are the winners by category.
- Fastest broadband = Kirkby Lonsdale (Cumbria)
- Most top schools = Reedley Hallows (Lancashire)
- Lowest anxiety levels = Ightenhill (Lancashire)
- Cheapest house prices = Habergham Eaves (Lancashire)
- Great number of free WiFi hotspots = Styal (Cheshire)
- Most restaurants = Great Bowden (Leicestershire)
- Best for libraries = Great Bowden (Leicestershire)
- Highest number of parks = Little Gaddesden (Hertfordshire)
- Most food delivery options = West Wycombe (Buckinghamshire)
- Best for coffee shops = Llandough (Glamorgan)
- Lowest cost of living = Llandough (Glamorgan)
- Highest life satisfaction = Marldon (Devon)
Every town in the UK has its own charms and secrets. Where you should move depends entirely on your individual needs and wants. If money is your highest priority, Llandough has the lowest cost of living, while Habergham Eaves boasts the cheapest house prices.
But, if you want to consider life outside of your home office first and foremost, Little Gaddesden has the highest number of parks for the population. Great Bowden is the proud owner of a high volume of restaurants per 10,000, ideal for those who are keen on socialising after work.
Is quality of life your main draw to an area? Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation for some. However, Ightenhill’s residents have the lowest anxiety levels in the UK. Meanwhile, those who live in Marldon report the highest life satisfaction in the country.
How were these towns scored?
A larger list of UK towns was filtered down to those with a population between 1,000 and 50,000. This left 4,607 towns on the list.
After the data on the ranking factors was pulled together, the towns that stayed had to meet the following criteria:
- Broadband speed at least 50 Mbps
- At least 1 coffee shop within 2 miles
- At least 1 restaurant or takeaway within 2 miles
- At least 1 library or WiFi hotspot within 2 miles
- At least 1 park in the area
- At least 1 outstanding school within 3 miles
All research was collected and numbers were crunched by Resume.io.
How was it weighted?
Overall scores are out of 100, based on:
- House Price – 5 points
- Cost of Living – 5 points
- Broadband % over 30Mbs – 10 points
- Broadband % over 300Mbs – 5 points
- Broadband Avg Speed – 10 points
- Life Satisfaction – 10 points
- Anxiety – 10 points
- Outstanding schools per 10,000 people – 5 points
- Parks per 10,000 people – 10 points
- Coffee shops per 10,000 people – 10 points
- Restaurants per 10,000 people – 5 points
- Delivery per 10,000 people – 5 points
- Libraries per 10,000 people – 5 points
- WiFi Hotspots per 10,000 people – 5 points
Looking to move home?
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people buy and sell property, with less of us needing to live in the main cities.
If you’re looking to move home, expert advice from Phil Spencer might just help you along the way. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular insights and updates, direct to your inbox.