In a study by office furniture specialists Furniture At Work, Edinburgh has been revealed as the happiest city to work in the UK, surpassing London and other major cities.

The study considered various happiness indicators, including average salary, cost of living, and flexible work opportunities.

As the UK labour market slows and more workers choose to stay in their current jobs, worrying figures show that mental health issues account for 51 percent of long-term sick leave.

In response to the growing need for workplace mental health support, flexible working has recently become a legal right in the UK, reportedly increasing job satisfaction by 65 percent.

The study by Furniture At Work ranked the UK’s largest cities to determine the best and worst regions for workplace happiness. Key factors included flexible working opportunities and average salaries. Edinburgh emerged as the top city, followed by London and Bristol. Edinburgh also scored highest for ‘life satisfaction,’ considering overall happiness, anxiety, and day-to-day life satisfaction. Additionally, Edinburgh secured second place for the highest average salary among the surveyed cities.

Conversely, Liverpool, Portsmouth, and Bradford ranked as the least happy cities to work in, indicating significant challenges in workplace mental health and overall job satisfaction.

Happiest to Least Happiest Cities to Work In:

Rank City Index Score
1 Edinburgh 84.1
2 London 78.6
3 Bristol 75.3
4 Leeds 69.9
5 Newcastle-upon-Tyne 69.2
6 Glasgow 68.4
7 Reading 59
8 Nottingham 57.4
9 Manchester 56.2
10 Southampton 51.4
11 Cardiff 50.3
12 Birmingham 48.4
13 Sheffield 48.3
14 Coventry 48.1
15 Derby 47.6
16 Brighton 46.7
17 Plymouth 40.8
18 Kingston-upon-Hull 35.8
19 Liverpool 34.4
20 Portsmouth 32.4
21 Bradford 23.1

A spokesperson for Furniture At Work commented, “Work satisfaction isn’t just about the job itself but how it affects your everyday life both in and out of work. This study offers practical insights for employers to consider that directly impact culture and overall happiness, which also encourage staff retention.”

They emphasised the importance for business owners to enhance workplace happiness through regular pay reviews, wellbeing check-ins, and opportunities for flexible working. Failing to implement these changes could result in an unhappy workforce and high employee turnover.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.