Home Business & Industry Here Are the 10 Least Affordable UK Cities to Live for a Full-Time Office Role

Here Are the 10 Least Affordable UK Cities to Live for a Full-Time Office Role

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Brits may now be very used to remote working, but according to new research, two-thirds (63%) of CEOs in the UK predict workers will return to the office full-time by 2026. But which cities across the country are best for a five-day office week?

To find out, Business Name Generator has conducted a new study, analysing 30 cities in the UK, looking at factors such as commute times and costs, the number of people who work mainly from home, the cost of a coffee, and the number of on-site jobs currently available in each city. The team has also provided some top tips for returning to the office full-time.

Manchester is the best UK city for fully office-based roles, with 432 on-site jobs per 10,000 people currently available

According to the study, the best city in the UK for spending five days in the office is Manchester. For those looking for a fully on-site role, the northern city currently has 432 office-based vacancies per 10,000 people on offer, which is the most of any city analysed. 

A third (32%) of residents in the northern city work mostly from home, which means the majority of people are heading into the office in some capacity. But perhaps because of this, commute times are relatively high in the city, at 39 minutes for a one-way journey. A monthly travel pass will also set workers back £80 – the third highest amount of any UK city in the study. 

In second place is another northern city, Bradford. For those after a morning caffeine fix, Bradford is home to the cheapest coffee in the UK, with one cup averaging £2.28. Only a quarter (25%) of residents work mainly from home, and there are also 308 on-site jobs per 10,000 people being advertised in Bradford.

Milton Keynes has come in third. Residents can get to work in around 23 minutes in the city, which is the fourth-shortest commute time of all cities analysed. But a monthly travel pass is a little less than in Manchester, at £63.

Rank

City

Average cost of a coffee

Average commute times (minutes)

Average commute costs

% of people who work from home

Number of on-site jobs per 10,000 people 

1

Manchester

£3.34

39

£80

32%

432

2

Bradford

£2.28

44

£57

25%

308

3

Milton Keynes

£3.04

23

£63

26%

163

4

Southampton

£2.94

28

£60

26%

185

5

Stoke-on-Trent

£2.97

21

£65

15%

69

6

Preston

£3.03

26

£52

25%

133

7

Hull

£2.55

29

£56

13%

77

8

Coventry

£2.57

29

£50

26%

143

9

Edinburgh

£3.33

29

£60

20%

120

10

Plymouth

£3.13

26

£56

21%

81

London is the worst city in the UK for spending five days a week in the office, with a travel pass costing £181 per month

London has been ranked as the worst city in the UK for going into the office five days a week. The city has one of the longest commute times, with a one-way journey taking around 45 minutes, and a monthly travel pass costs a huge £181 on average. Perhaps because of this, the majority (67%) of Londoners currently work from home, the most of any city. 

Southend-on-Sea has come in as the second worst city. Surprisingly, commute times in the city are even higher than in London, at 46 minutes, though it does cost a lot less to travel to work, at around £45 for the month.

Rank

City

Average cost of a coffee

Average commute times (minutes)

Avg. commute costs

% of people who work from home

Number of on-site jobs per 10,000 people 

1

London

£3.56

45

£181

67%

148

2

Southend-on-Sea

£3.10

48

£45

33%

30

3

Wolverhampton

£3.50

n/a

£60

19%

153

4

Bristol

£3.27

30

£84

39%

148

As the landscape of work continues to evolve in the UK, this study by Business Name Generator offers valuable insights for those contemplating a return to full-time office work. Manchester emerges as the most accommodating city for on-site roles, balancing job availability with the demands of commuting and living expenses. However, London’s high costs and extended commute times place it at the other end of the spectrum, highlighting the complexities of urban working environments.

With these findings, professionals across the UK can make more informed decisions about their work locations, taking into account the unique blend of commute times, living costs, and job opportunities each city presents. This study not only sheds light on the current state of office-based work in various UK cities but also underscores the importance of considering multiple factors when choosing a workplace in this ever-changing work landscape.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd