A new survey had some suprising results on remote working. Photo: Helena Lopes

Cork is ranked low for remote workers

Remote work has been a positive development for many people, aiding their work-life balance but did you know that Cork is amongst the worst counties in Ireland for remote work?

A new study by Virigin Media has revealed the best and worst counties in which to work from home.

Over the last four years, the number of people working from home in Ireland has increased from 19.89% to 36.2%, according to the CSO.

The analysis factored in essential elements such as rent prices, broadband speed, crime rates, air quality, sunlight hours, restaurant availability, and the number of primary schools.

These factors play a crucial role in determining the ideal location for remote work living. Each data point in the index was individually scored, these scores were then used to calculate the overall index ranking.

The top five counties in Ireland are:

Kerry, Clare, Laois, Roscommon and Donegal.

The lowest ranking counties include:

Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo and Limerick.

The lowest ranking counties include counties with 4 of the biggest cities in Ireland, which might seem surprising but there are a number of as to why this is.

Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo, and Limerick are counties facing the greatest challenges for remote work. Despite their urban nature, these counties struggle to provide the ideal conditions for remote professionals.

Dublin has high living costs, reflected in its average rent price of €2102, and congestion, making it less appealing to remote work lifestyles.

Similarly, Cork and Galway, renowned for their picturesque landscapes and bustling city centres, grapple with limited broadband infrastructure, averaging at 94.43 Mbps and 113.18 Mbps respectively, and elevated crime rates, with Galway having a crime rates index of 0.48685, detracting from their appeal as remote work destinations.

Meanwhile, Sligo and Limerick, though rich in cultural heritage and natural beauty, face issues such as air quality concerns, with Sligo having an air quality index of 0.20339, and lower broadband speeds, with Sligo averaging at 83.17 Mbps, hindering their potential as remote work hubs.

When comparing the top-performing counties, factors such as affordable rent prices, high-speed broadband, low crime rates, and access to amenities like restaurants and primary schools emerge as crucial determinants.

Fast broadband speeds are essential for seamless remote work, especially in an era where video conferencing and online collaboration have become the new normal.

Counties like Laois, which provide a strong sense of community and access to essential amenities like primary schools, make it an ideal place for families to settle down without the fear of their children missing out.

The bottom-ranking counties struggle with challenges such as high living costs, as seen in Cork and Dublin.

Further analysis of Dublin reveals that despite having 459 primary schools available, it might be very difficult to enrol your child due to a significant backlog of parents waiting for their children to get into primary schools. These factors may affect where you choose to settle down, ultimately diminishing the appeal of these locations as viable hubs for remote work.

Paul Higgins, VP Commercial at Virgin Media Ireland said: “The increase in numbers working from home gives people greater flexibility in their lives and a more favourable work-life balance.

“With Virgin Media’s full fibre broadband reaching more and more corners of Ireland, we’re thrilled to be playing our part in helping facilitate our customers work from home all around the country,” he added.

For more info visit https://www.virginmedia.ie/play/most-suitable-counties-for-remote-working.