The digital tale of the island: the UK's remote work metrics analysis

Where does the land of tea, cricket, and the iconic Big Ben stand in the world of remote work? Find out the intriguing paradoxes and hidden gems of the UK's remote work ecosystem.

UK in GRWI map


Key takeaways

  • The United Kingdom ranks 19th in the general Global Remote Work Index 2023 (GRWI).
  • It has become less accessible to foreign workers after Brexit, but it is still an attractive option for remote work.
  • The UK excels in economic safety (1st) and holds 12th position in physical and digital infrastructure.
  • The UK has lower rankings in the areas of cyber safety (36th) and social safety (28th).
  • Despite this, the country has a strong cybersecurity infrastructure (2nd) and legal measures (13th).
  • The country also prioritizes personal rights, ranking 10th.
Overview of countries GRWI measurement scores

Cyber Safety

The UK's cyber safety ranking is fairly controversial. While its excellent infrastructure (2nd), its response capacity is less impressive (23rd). It does have decent legislation in place (13th), although other countries perform better, leaving the United Kingdom in the 36th place in the cyber safety ranking.

Comparison with neighboring countries

Compared to its neighboring Ireland (9th), the UK lags behind in the overall GRWI ranking. It surpasses Ireland in economic safety (1st vs 14th) and digital and physical infrastructure (12th vs 27th). The UK also proves to be more tourist-attractive (3rd vs 8th), is cheaper to live (78th vs 88th), and has a far better healthcare system (8th vs 40th) than Ireland. While the internet service is more expensive in the UK (43rd) than in Ireland (18th), the UK boasts a better physical infrastructure (2nd vs 14th). It also excels in e-government (8th vs 26th) and performs slightly better in internet quality (35th vs 39th).

The United Kingdom gives way to its neighbor when it comes to cyber safety (36th vs 15th) and social safety (28th vs 18th). It is a difficult contestant to compete with, however, as Ireland performs well in cybersecurity legal measures (2nd) and response capacity (8th) and boasts an exceptionally inclusive society (2nd).

Comparison map with neighbouring countries

Finding a non-neighboring country with similar index results

Unsurprisingly, there are many similarities between the two great transatlantic partners, the United Kingdom and the USA. Both countries rank similarly in the overall GRWI ranking (19th and 16th, respectively) and enjoy some stark parallels in several areas, including cyber safety (36th and 33th), economic safety (1st and 2nd), and digital and physical infrastructure (6th and 12th). Social safety-wise (28th and 37th), they are not too far apart either.

There are also commonalities in the economic and social spheres. Both countries are attractive to tourists, the UK ranking 3rd and the U.S. ranking 1st, with very good healthcare services (8th and 4th), a high cost of living (78th and 89th), moderate inclusivity (24th and 28th) and mediocre general safety (58th and 62nd).

The UK and U.S. differ starkly in relation to internet affordability (43rd vs 2nd respectively) and quality (35th and 9th). The UK also gives way to its counterpart in cybersecurity response capacity (23rd vs 9th). Nevertheless, the UK performs better when it comes to personal rights (10th vs 20th) and physical infrastructure (2nd vs 15th).

Illustration of neighbouring countries GRWI

Top remote destinations for UK workers

The UK offers many compelling arguments to stay and work remotely, especially due to its top ranking in economic safety. However, areas such as cyber safety and social safety leave room for improvement. So if you look for high cybersecurity response capacity and legislation, a better cost of living, internet quality and affordability ratio, or simply a safer and more inclusive place, there are other places to consider.

Regarding cybersecurity response capacity and legislation

For those seeking top-notch cybersecurity response capacity and legislation, central and eastern Europe is the place to go. Countries like Slovakia, Estonia, Poland or Lithuania boast the highest rankings in those areas while also keeping you within budget.

Concerning cost of living and internet quality/affordability

If you would like to go somewhere inexpensive, with a relatively good and affordable internet connection, you should consider places in the south-eastern part of Europe. Hungary and Bulgaria offer better and cheaper internet service than the UK while being far more affordable to live in.

Working remote employees illustration

In the context of inclusiveness and general safety

If the UK is a bit too intense for you, consider someplace more relaxed. Countries like Iceland and Switzerland rank high in terms of inclusiveness and general safety. Their stunning natural landscapes offer a peaceful haven for world-roaming spirits.

Or is it better to stay at home?

It is always challenging to compete with the best. And when it comes to the bottom line, the UK remains the best economic choice globally. With its excellent performance in cybersecurity infrastructure, tourist attractiveness and physical infrastructure, the UK offers a strong case for staying and working remotely. So, those who don't mind the rainy weather and focus on the practical aspects of life, might as well just stay home, calmly making some tea and carrying on.


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Man explores Global remote work index details of 2023

Explore the full details of the GRWI 2023