Sheffield Ranked 3rd Most Challenging City to Work from Home in

When future historians come to write the history of this period, they might recognise 2020 as the year in which working from home practices truly took hold. Covid-19 has meant that millions of workers in the UK have made the switch to working from home rather than remotely. It’s a transition that might well be a permanent one; Facebook and Google announced long ago that working from home practices would be around for the long-term, and many of the UK’s smaller businesses have followed suit.

According to instantprint, a Rotherham-based printing company specialising in posters, flyers and business cards, 86% of the workforce are working, at least in part, from the comfort of our homes. But this isn’t always an easy thing to do, as the company’s research uncovered. Moreover, some parts of the company are fundamentally more suited to working-from-home practices than others.

What Makes a Good City for Home-Working?

A range of variables go into determining a location’s suitability for telecommuting.

The most important of these is the quality of the city’s broadband. If the download and upload speeds aren’t up to scratch, then the sharing of files might be difficult. Intermittent broadband can also place a dampener on video calls. This is a particular problem in rural areas, but urban ones are vulnerable, too.

It’s also worth thinking about the cost of your accommodation as a business expense. For people who need to work in Central London, the salary might justify the exorbitant cost of rent. But if you’re doing all of your work from home and don’t need to head into the office at all, then things like rent and living expenses might begin to taste bitter. You might move elsewhere and continue the same line of work. If you know that you’re going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, then this might be enough to justify the cost of a move.

Where is the Best and Worst Place to Work from Home?

According to instantprint, the best places to work from home are Belfast, Birmingham and Nottingham. The Northern-Irish capital scoops top spot, owing to its excellent broadband infrastructure. The average download speed here is 64.1mbps, with some workers enjoying speeds far higher than that.

At the other end of the spectrum are London, Cardiff and Sheffield. The capital is rapidly losing its lustre, for reasons we’ve already mentioned. Sheffield, meanwhile, suffers from substandard internet with an average internet speed of just 39.3mbps. If the current circumstances persist, then these places might consider investing in broadband infrastructure a more pressing priority.

What Else Should I Worry About?

Of course, where you are in the country isn’t the only determiner of your quality of life while working from home. Distractions can also have a big impact on your day, as instantprint’s research showed children (28%) and pets (20%) cause two of the biggest working from home. While some workers are getting distracted by Netflix or cooking!

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