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The best places to work from home in Ireland

Remote and hybrid working is here to stay, so we’ve researched Ireland’s towns for telecoms, leisure and family to find the best places to work from home in Ireland.

A new law giving employees the right to request remote work will soon be included in the Work Life Balance Bill, due for delivery before the end of the year.

This means that employers will now consider requests for flexible or remote working under one law and one Code of Practice to be developed by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

The growing trend in remote working means you can choose to rent or buy a home wherever you like without worrying about where the best jobs are located.

Our new Switcher.ie Remote Working Index (RWI) looks at towns and cities across Ireland to find the best and worst places to work from home in 2022.

What’s important when working from home?

When you’re working from home you need great broadband and mobile coverage, places to keep fit and stay healthy, and somewhere to grab a bite to eat when life gets busy.

If you have a family, you’ll want to be close to health services, good schools and, above all, feel safe in your neighbourhood.

Factors we researched

Alongside house prices and crime rate, our research compared what’s on offer in each town.

The Remote Working Index includes:

  • broadband speeds and 5G mobile coverage
  • access to green spaces such as parks, woodland or coastline
  • the number of gyms, fitness and leisure centres
  • the number of cafes, coffee shops and food delivery services
  • proximity to health centres, GP surgeries and top schools

Check out the full Remote Working Index 2022 here.

Top 10 towns and cities to work from home in Ireland - 2022

It was a close-run race for a place in our top 10 this year, with many towns ranking highly for all sorts of factors - from great 5G and broadband to affordable housing or access to green spaces and cheap eats.

RWI castlebar

1. Castlebar

Castlebar is our winner in this year’s Remote Working Index and is officially the best place to work from home in Ireland in 2022. Castlebar, a vibrant market town, offers a winning mix of great leisure amenities, speedy broadband, 5G mobile coverage and plenty of green spaces.

With reasonable house prices, a low crime rate, good access to health and top schools - it’s a great place to work from home and raise a family.

2. Leixlip

A close second this year is Leixlip, nestled on the River Liffey. As you’d expect for this attractive town close to Dublin, it has some of the best transport links and is well served by education and health services.

Superfast 5G coverage, easy access to parks, woodland and sporting facilities, plus a comparatively low crime rate make this a worthy runner-up for remote and hybrid workers who need to travel into Dublin for meetings or a working lunch.

3. Navan

In third place, popular commuter town Navan in the Boyne Valley is well served by fibre broadband, 5G mobile and transport networks. It also offers a wide choice of shops, housing and leisure options to suit all budgets.

Whether you’re popping out for a quick bite or planning a cosy night in, Navan offers an abundance of takeaways and cafes for busy, working families.

rwi galway

4. Galway

The largest place in our top 10, the lively harbour city of Galway comes in fourth place. It has all the perks you’d expect of a city, including great 5G, superfast broadband, a vast array of places to eat and drink and access to good schools.

With comparatively affordable housing and easy access to Ireland’s stunning west coast - it’s hard to find a better place to work from home.

5. Longford

The cheapest place to live, Longford has good access to 5G, full-fibre broadband and a large selection of gyms, leisure facilities, and great value eats. It’s an ideal place to live and work on a budget. However, the higher crime rate could make it less attractive for remote workers with families.

6. Gorey

In sixth place is the bustling commuter town of Gorey. One of the best towns for cafes and coffee shops and the perfect place to work from home whilst keeping fit at the gym, Gorey is safe, small and well served by broadband and 5G mobile networks too.

7. Clonmel

Historic Clonmel takes seventh place on our list, with affordable housing, fast fibre broadband and 5G. The largest town in Tipperary, it boasts good all round amenities, so it’s a great place to set up your home office whether you’re single, a couple or a family household.

8. Mallow

Taking eighth place, Mallow, nestled in the Blackwater Valley is one of the cheapest towns to work from home, but for your money, you’ll get good access to top schools and health services, a decent choice of broadband and 5G providers and plenty of cafes and coffee shops.

9. Portmarnock

The scenic seaside suburb of Portmarnock is one of the most expensive towns to live in Ireland, but you’ll enjoy great facilities and a wealth of green spaces, beaches and coastline all within 40 minutes of Dublin city centre.

If you’re a high earner who enjoys sea views and a spot of golf, Portmarnock could be the ideal place to plan the perfect home office.

rwi sligo

10. Sligo

The final spot in the top 10 goes to Sligo. Known for its sandy beaches and surfing, this stunning but affordable place to live on the northwest coast of Ireland enjoys a host of cafes and coffee shops, good access to health services, schools and decent fibre broadband.

Sligo’s rural location may have made it less desirable for employees in the past, but if you’re free to work anywhere - Sligo could be a remote worker’s paradise.

Best place to keep fit and stay healthy

Working from home has lots of benefits, but it’s easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle. We all know that to stay well in mind and body it’s best to keep active and enjoy the great outdoors whenever you can.

Top 5 towns for gyms, leisure, parks and walking

To find our best towns for well-being, we’ve counted the number of gyms, leisure centres, parks and walks per 1,000 people in each town.

  1. Gorey
  2. Malahide
  3. Castlebar
  4. Longford
  5. Ballina

Best place to work from home with a family

Castlebar has taken the top spot for the best place to work from home with a family. Not only does it offer affordable housing, but it’s also a safe place to live and has great access to health services and good schools.

Top 5 towns to work remotely with a family

To calculate the best town to work from home with a family, we summed index scores for house prices, crime rate, number of GPs surgeries and high-ranking schools.

  1. Castlebar
  2. Arklow
  3. Midleton
  4. Cobh
  5. Enniscorthy

Best place to eat at home or on the go

The top place to work from home if you fancy a takeaway or want to pop out for a quick coffee and a cheap bite is Navan. It has great access to food delivery services so you don’t even have to leave your desk for lunch on deadline day.

Top 5 towns for takeaway delivery and cafes

To work out the top places to grab a quick bite we summed online food delivery services operating in the locality and counted cafes and coffee shops per 1,000 people in each town.

  1. Navan
  2. Galway
  3. Naas
  4. Bray
  5. Carlow

Worst towns for telecom services

Our research found that Ireland’s towns are well served by high-speed fibre broadband and 5G networks, thanks to the rollout of SIRO and the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

However, some towns are lagging behind and either missing out on 5G or waiting for full fibre to roll out in their area.

Bottom 5 towns for 5G and fibre broadband

To gauge connectivity in each town, we counted the number of main telecom networks offering 5G in each town and used the SIRO and NBP network map to gauge full fibre coverage.

  1. Shannon
  2. Cobh
  3. Celbridge
  4. Skerries
  5. Tullamore

Cheapest towns to work remotely

Longford was the most affordable town to buy a house in our study. House prices were based on the average house price in August 2022.

Top 5 affordable towns to work remotely:

  1. Longford
  2. Ballina
  3. Cavan
  4. Letterkenny
  5. Shannon

Safest towns to work from home

Skerries had the lowest rate of recorded crime per 1,000 people in 2021, giving it the top spot as the safest place to work from home.

Top 5 safest places to work from home:

  1. Skerries
  2. Cobh
  3. Celbridge
  4. Carrigaline
  5. Shannon

Remote Working Index 2022

Rank Town/City County Average house price Crime rate per 1,000 Gym facilities per 1,000 Green spaces per 1,000 GP surgeries per 1,000 Top schools per 1,000 Cafes per 1,000 Online delivery services 5G mobile network coverage Full fibre coverage Remote Working Index Score
1 Castlebar Mayo €205,100 63.47 0.83 0.75 0.75 0.25 1.16 1 3.0 1 6.44
2 Leixlip Kildare €414,366 30.7 0.06 1.16 0.58 0.13 1.23 3 3.0 0.5 6.44
3 Navan Meath €309,389 47.69 0.46 0.30 0.33 0.10 1.99 3 3.0 1 6.35
4 Galway Galway €336,594 93.95 0.66 0.50 0.30 0.08 1.88 3 3.0 1 6.07
5 Longford Longford €162,899 108.91 1.00 0.50 1.00 0.20 1.60 1 3.0 1 6.03
6 Gorey Wexford €288,857 76.05 1.22 0.51 0.31 0.10 1.93 1 3.0 1 6.00
7 Clonmel Tipperary €221,707 84.89 0.76 0.23 0.29 0.23 1.46 2 3.0 1 5.95
8 Mallow Cork €210,639 65.9 0.32 0.72 0.72 0.24 1.20 1 3.0 1 5.92
9 Portmarnock County Dublin €549,986 45.86 0.11 1.48 0.32 0.11 1.27 2 3.0 0.5 5.92
10 Sligo Sligo €213,164 62.82 0.57 0.57 0.52 0.21 1.72 1 2.5 1 5.79
11 Cork Cork €323,785 50.46 0.36 0.48 0.01 0.08 0.86 3 3.0 1 5.76
12 Bray Wicklow €512,514 46.04 0.34 0.21 0.31 0.18 1.53 3 3.0 1 5.75
13 Wicklow Wicklow €376,569 49.13 0.47 0.66 0.38 0.19 1.42 1 3.0 1 5.75
14 Cobh Cork €288,243 24.53 0.31 1.17 0.39 0.08 1.33 2 2.0 0.5 5.71
15 Dundalk Louth €266,633 62.15 0.46 0.28 0.26 0.18 0.51 3 3.0 1 5.69
16 Kilkenny Kilkenny €285,283 60.69 0.49 0.49 0.11 0.23 0.75 3 2.0 1 5.65
17 Waterford Waterford €254,697 62.69 0.47 0.30 0.22 0.04 1.21 3 3.0 1 5.63
18 Arklow Wicklow €283,724 41.33 0.30 1.06 0.38 0.15 1.29 1 2.0 1 5.61
19 Tramore Waterford €322,117 42.96 0.39 0.96 0.29 0.10 1.93 1 2.0 1 5.59
20 Letterkenny Donegal €184,940 68.33 0.47 0.21 0.36 0.21 1.04 2 3.0 1 5.59
21 Killarney Kerry €286,000 69.7 0.83 0.62 0.48 0.14 1.38 2 2.0 1 5.57
22 Malahide County Dublin €634,325 45.86 0.66 1.15 0.36 0.06 1.21 2 3.0 0.5 5.53
23 Drogheda Louth €288,269 54.57 0.51 0.24 0.24 0.12 0.49 3 3.0 1 5.49
24 Swords County Dublin €389,465 50.83 0.36 0.56 0.25 0.10 1.17 3 3.0 0.5 5.49
25 Ballina Mayo €173,393 48.27 0.98 0.49 0.98 0.20 1.18 1 2.5 0.5 5.43
26 Naas Kildare €371,426 74.14 0.56 0.19 0.47 0.19 1.87 3 2.0 1 5.41
27 Midleton Cork €302,842 58.74 0.32 0.96 0.48 0.24 1.04 1 2.0 1 5.39
28 Limerick Limerick €261,297 103.09 0.57 0.34 0.14 0.07 1.06 3 3.0 1 5.34
29 Tralee Kerry €223,090 76.91 0.46 0.46 0.42 0.17 1.48 2 2.0 1 5.23
30 Wexford Wexford €244,199 59 0.54 0.45 0.45 0.10 1.54 2 2.0 1 5.22
31 Athlone Westmeath €231,909 54.05 0.42 0.33 0.23 0.09 1.31 2 2.5 1 5.20
32 Newbridge Kildare €343,987 42.39 0.48 0.22 0.31 0.13 1.06 3 2.0 1 5.16
33 Enniscorthy Wexford €230,036 54.74 0.35 0.53 0.88 0.26 1.14 1 2.0 1 5.13
34 Carlow Carlow €229,691 53.97 0.37 0.33 0.25 0.04 1.24 3 2.0 1 5.11
35 Maynooth Kildare €414,366 43.06 0.55 0.55 0.55 0.07 1.44 2 2.0 1 5.04
36 Ennis Clare €260,978 52.03 0.83 0.24 0.40 0.16 0.79 2 2.0 1 4.99
37 Cavan Cavan €181,271 97.76 1.01 0.27 0.46 0.27 1.01 1 2.0 1 4.88
38 Skerries County Dublin €469,985 23.00 0.40 0.90 0.30 0.10 1.49 1 3.0 0 4.85
39 Balbriggan County Dublin €300,243 62.66 0.46 0.32 0.18 0.05 0.74 2 3.0 1 4.82
40 Shannon Clare €191,179 28.06 0.31 0.72 0.41 0.10 1.03 1 1.5 1 4.78
41 Portlaoise Laois €228,041 68.93 0.18 0.23 0.32 0.09 1.04 3 2.0 1 4.69
42 Tullamore Offaly €246,814 71.95 0.48 0.21 0.62 0.27 1.57 1 2.5 0.5 4.64
43 Mullingar Westmeath €243,015 67.28 0.53 0.29 0.48 0.14 0.76 2 2.0 1 4.59
44 Dublin Dublin €496,480 62.43 0.35 0.14 0.33 0.07 0.24 3 3.0 1 4.33
45 Rush County Dublin €367,347 91.57 0.20 1.01 0.40 0.10 0.80 1 2.0 1 4.21
46 Celbridge Kildare €414,366 24.94 0.20 0.54 0.35 0.10 0.69 2 2.0 0.5 4.12
47 Carrigaline Cork €367,166 26.89 0.32 0.51 0.51 0.06 0.38 1 2.0 1 3.94
48 Athy Kildare €220,269 60.04 0.31 0.41 0.41 0.10 0.41 1 2.0 1 3.88
49 Ratoath Meath €398,805 55.45 0.31 0.52 0.21 0.00 1.15 1 2.0 1 3.77
50 Ashbourne Meath €320,405 55.45 0.39 0.16 0.39 0.00 1.10 1 2.0 1 3.43

Methodology

To work out the best towns and cities to work from home we analysed a series of factors and scored them. The metrics included:

  • Full fibre broadband coverage
  • 5G mobile coverage
  • House prices
  • Crime rates
  • Number of coffee shops
  • Online food delivery services
  • Number of parks and hiking areas
  • Number of gyms, fitness and leisure faciltities
  • Top-rated schools
  • Number of GP surgeries

To calculate the index, we calculated the number of coffee shops, parks & hiking areas, gyms and leisure facilities, GP surgeries, and top-rated schools per 1,000 population of each town. We also looked at 5G and full-fibre broadband networks and online food delivery services to find the scope of coverage in each town or city. Crime rates and average house prices for each town were also collated.

The Remote Working Index score was derived by ‘normalising’ the data categories using the min-max method from 0 to 1. Towns with the most amenities per 1000 scored closest to 1 and least facilities closest to 0. House prices and crime rates were also normalised; most affordable homes and low crime rates scored closest to 1. The normalisation scores were then summed and ranked to create the Remote Working Index. The potential maximum index score was 10.

The data was collected and analysed in November 2022.

Sources

  • Population: The population of the top 50 Irish urban agglomerations and census towns, census year 2016, CSO.ie
  • House prices: HPM08, 12 month rolling average mean in August 2022, CSO.ie. Eircode was used if town-level data was unavailable.
  • 5G coverage: Three, Vodafone and eir Comreg coverage map. If coverage was estimated at less than 50%, 0.5 was awarded.
  • Full fibre broadband coverage: SIRO Towns and NBI. If coverage was estimated at less than 50%, 0.5 was awarded.
  • Number of GPs in a town/city: HSE, Find a GP service.
  • Number of online food delivery services: Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats
  • Number of high-ranking schools per town: The Times.
  • Number of cafes or coffee shop per town: Tagged on Google maps as coffee shop, cafe or name of the establishment.
  • Number of parks, green spaces, woodland or coastline walks per town: Tagged on Google maps as parks, hiking areas, national forest.
  • Number of fitness facilities and physical well-being activities: GeoDirectory
  • Crime data: CJA07, Recorded crime offences under reservation 26/09/2022 by Garda Station, CSO.ie In cities with more than one station, all stations with an address in city centres were counted. Rush, Ratoath and Portmarnock did not have station-level data, so the nearest comparable station figures were used as a substitute.
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