The Best Cities for a Five-Day Office Week 

Our new research has revealed which cities are the best for a five-day week in the office, both in the UK and around the world.

Globally, around two in three (62%) workers currently work from home in some capacity, however more and more people are starting to head back to the office, and less jobs are advertising fully remote work. On top of this, new research has revealed that two-thirds of global CEOs predict workers will return to the office full-time by 2026. But, which cities around the world are best for a five-day office week?

To find out, we at Business Name Generator have conducted a new study, analysing 70 cities in the UK and worldwide, 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. We’ve also provided some top tips for returning to the office full-time. 

The Best Cities in the UK for Five Days in the Office 

1. Manchester

According to our 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. With Manchester enjoying a rapidly growing economy, specialising in industries including media, creative, finance and sports, it’s easy to see why there are a significant number of on-site job opportunities available for employees.

A third (32%) of residents work mostly from home, which means the majority of people are heading into the office in some capacity. However, perhaps because of this, commuting in the city can be a little hectic, with commute times around 39 minutes for a one-way journey. 

A monthly travel pass will also set you back £80 — the third highest amount of any UK city in the study. Your daily coffee will also cost around £3.34 on average, however this is still cheaper compared to London where a coffee costs £4.10 on average, a 22% increase in price.

2. Bradford

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. Despite commute times being even longer here than in Manchester, averaging 44 minutes one-way, a monthly transport pass will cost a lot less, at £57. 

Furthermore, only a quarter (25%) of residents work mainly from home, which means the city is perhaps well set up for those who are office-based. In fact, the research shows there are 308 on-site jobs per 10,000 people being advertised in Bradford. This could be a result of the city being home to office headquarters for several huge household name brands such as Morrisons, Yorkshire Building Society and Yorkshire Water, providing plenty of opportunity for local employees.

3. Milton Keynes

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. However, a monthly travel pass is a little pricier than in Bradford, at £63. 

Like Bradford, only a quarter (26%) of people work from home, but for those looking to move to a more office-based role, there are around half the number of on-site jobs available, at 163 per 10,000 people. 

A recent study we conducted revealed Milton Keynes to be the most productive city in the UK for employees thanks to its high economic productivity and quality of life. Home to headquarters for major businesses including Argos and Dominos Pizza, as well as being the UK headquarters for automotive brands including Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, there is plenty of opportunity for employees who prefer office working over work from home.

RankCityAvg. coffee costAvg. Commute time (mins)Avg. Commute costs% of people that mostly work from homeNo. of on-site jobs per 10,000 people
3Milton Keynes£3.0423£6326%163

The Worst Cities in the UK for an Office-Based Week 

Given how busy (and expensive) the city is, perhaps it’s not surprising that London has 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, compared to the UK average of 31 minutes, and a monthly travel pass costs a huge £181, on average. Over two-thirds (67%) of Londoners currently work from home, the most of any city, and perhaps they choose to do so because of the travel time and costs.  

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. The city also has just 30 on-site jobs available per every 10,000 people. Wolverhampton rounds off the worst places in the UK for a five-day office-based week. 

RankCityAvg. cost of a coffeeAvg. commute times (mins)Avg. commute costs% of people that work from homeNo. of on-site jobs per 10,000 people

The Best Cities Around the World for Five Days in the Office 

Whether you’re an employee looking for a new role, or a business looking to expand into the global market, the research has also looked at where in the world is best for fully office-based workers.  

1. Boston, USA

Taking the crown as the best city in the world for heading to the office five days a week is Boston. The US city has a huge 881 on-site jobs currently available per 10,000 people, so anyone looking to switch up their remote-based role might do well to head here. This city has a flourishing economy in the finance, education and medicine spaces, to name a few, making it a great location for working professionals. 

Commute times in the city are around 45 minutes which, while high compared to the UK, isn’t as bad as in the likes of Los Angeles (57 minutes) and San Francisco (52 minutes). 

Travel costs are also around £73 per month. Again, while this is relatively expensive, it’s not as steep when compared to the likes of London (£181) and Sydney (£115), the two most expensive cities in the ranking. The most expensive city for travel in the US is, unsurprisingly, New York City, where a monthly travel pass costs £105.23 on average, also making it the fourth most expensive globally. 

2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In second place is Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Dutch city has one of the shortest commute times of all global cities analysed, at 24 minutes for a one-way journey, though a monthly travel pass will set you back a similar price as Boston, at £71. 

For those looking for a more office-based job, there’s also 346 on-site jobs on offer per 10,000 people. 

Amsterdam has made a name for itself as an international trading centre due to its ideal location, however it also has thriving advanced tech, finance and creative industries.

3. Madrid, Spain

Madrid has come in third place. The Spanish city is home to one of the cheapest cups of coffee of all cities analysed, at £1.75 per cup. Madrid residents also tend to have a relatively quick commute to work (27 minutes), at a pretty affordable cost, too (£35). However there are only 21 jobs per 10,000 people currently available that are fully on-site in the city. 

RankCityCountryAvg. cost of a coffeeAvg. commute times (mins)Avg. commute costsNo. of on-site jobs per 10,000 people 
10PragueCzech Republic£2.8732£2019

The Worst Cities in the World for an Office-Based Week 

Not only does London rank as the worst city in the UK for heading to the office everyday, but it also ranks lowest on the global list, too, thanks to its high commute times and costs. 

Despite Boston taking the top spot as the best city for a fully on-site role, the US is also home to some of the worst cities for a five-day office week, with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C and New York rounding off the bottom five. Los Angeles has the worst commute time of any city analysed (57 minutes compared to the global average of 40 minutes) while Washington, D.C has just 86 on-site jobs available per 10,000 people. 

RankCityCountryAvg. cost of a coffeeAvg. commute times (mins)Avg. commute costsNo. of on-site jobs per 10,000 people 
=2Los AngelesUSA£4.3457.36£76.64161
=2San FranciscoUSA£4.4852.05£79.0697
3Washington, D.CUSA£4.5546.11£93.9986
4New York CityUSA£4.4643.64£105.23133
7San JoseUSA£4.8142.76£104.88200

Tips for a Smooth Return to the Office 

You might already be back in the office a couple of days a week, or you could still be fully remote. Either way, a return to being on-site full-time can seem a little overwhelming. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips for a smooth return to the office. 

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

Preparation is key for making the mornings as stress-free as possible, so try to plan your outfit, pack your work bag, and make your lunch the night before.

Also make sure you get enough sleep, plan to hit the hay a little earlier if you know you need an extra hour or so to get to work. 

2. Establish a New Routine 

Working remotely means you might have established a certain morning routine, whether that might involve working out, taking a morning walk, journaling, or even just having breakfast and a coffee before you log on. 

If you find that your current routine works for you, don’t feel the need to ditch this just because you’re heading into the office. Find a way to bridge the two together, maybe wake up a little earlier so you can hit the gym, or get off a few tube stops earlier so you can still factor a pre-work walk into your day. 

3. Make the Most of Your Commute

Sometimes our commute can feel a little like wasted time, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Perhaps you can try to commute with friends or colleagues, or if you are travelling solo, why not take this time to read a book or listen to a podcast?

While a hectic journey can be stressful, studies have shown that often commutes can actually be beneficial, as they help us to either mentally prepare for the day, or to transition from a work mindset before we get home. 

4. Set Boundaries 

Lots of us might have found that working from home blurred a lot of work-life boundaries. You might be used to rolling out of bed and heading straight to the laptop in the morning, or maybe you tend to keep your phone with you during dinner because you’re used to working at the kitchen table anyway. 

When you work from an office, it’s easier to mentally leave work behind and not bring it home with you. If you are heading back to the office full-time, take this as a chance to set better boundaries for yourself. Think about what kind of availability and communication is going to work for you, and speak with your colleagues about how this could work going forward.  

5. Enjoy Being with Colleagues

Perhaps most important of all, remember to enjoy the fact that you’re back with your colleagues in person. Heading back to the office gives you a chance to reconnect with people, so ask your favourite co-worker out for that coffee you’ve been meaning to have, or why not suggest a team social to celebrate being back together?

Methodology & Sources 

Business Name Generator pulled together a seedlist of 40 of the world’s best cities, and 30 of the UK’s most populated cities. The cities were then ranked according to the following metrics to note: each metric was given a weighted score (referenced below) and an average was then found to create the final ranking:  



Number of on-site jobs (30) – per 10,000 people