People across the globe are working remotely because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Remote working provides a whole new set of challenges and tribulations. Working from home can make it easier for employees to achieve a work-life balance and control their working environment. However, other workers found the distractions of home life to hinder their productivity.
At least 86% of the UK is working at least part of their job remotely. instantprint combined desk research and national survey data to rank the UK’s major cities on how suitable they are for working from home. They looked into each city’s average internet download speed, 4G signal strength, average property size, price, monthly rent and cost of living.
Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, came out on top with a fantastic internet download speed of 64.1mbps. Birmingham came second with an impressive internet download speed, which is some of the best in England. Internet download speed is a significant issue for at-home office workers, who spend their days battling Microsoft Teams. An unstable internet connection can result in unproductive Zoom calls and a very frustrated team.
Despite being the biggest city in the UK by far, London came out as the most challenging city to work from home in. London is the heart of the UK’s business industry, yet remote workers struggle to work from their London homes. London living is not as glamourous as one might think with expensive monthly rent rates, high living costs, and smaller overall property sizes.
London’s smaller living spaces make it difficult for workers to separate their home and work life. If you live in a London flat, invest in a smaller desk to fit in one corner with plenty of storage solutions. Decorate your desk with company branded posters to add a motivational atmosphere and try to keep it as tidy as possible.
Although Belfast has the best internet download speed, remote workers still found themselves being less productive when working at home. Employees in Cardiff, London and Norwich also found they were less focused and productive at home. Try to minimise the number of distractions at home with noise-cancelling headphones and regular breaks to keep yourself focused and rested.
Bristol was found to be the most productive city in the UK, as nearly a third of Bristolians were more productive at home. They enjoyed the newfound flexibility of remote working and found they could achieve more in a day. Remote working is also significantly cheaper without commuting costs and lunches out. At-home workers have more time to spend on their hobbies and keeping the household clean without a two-hour commute on either side of the working day. A home office can greatly improve your working from home experience.