New study reveals Ireland’s best places for work-life balance

HRHQ Dublin

by HRHQ Editorial Team

New research by Switcher.ie has revealed the best Irish towns and cities for work life balance. The study is based on data like access to local amenities like primary schools, major supermarkets and leisure centres, services like broadband speed and mobile coverage, proximity to green spaces and transport routes, plus house prices and crime rates.

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New legislation which gives employees the right to request remote work, carer’s leave and other flexible arrangements is expected by the end of the year. With 32% working from home at least one day a week during 2022, Ireland’s towns and local economies could also enjoy the benefits of an increasingly flexible workforce.

Castlebar claimed the top spot as the best place to strike the perfect work-life balance in Ireland. Not only are house prices lower than others on the list, but it offers a winning mix of great local amenities, good connectivity for hybrid working and plenty of green spaces.

  • Castlebar is the best place for the perfect work-life balance

  • Castlebar, Ballina, Longford, Wexford and Arklow are the top 5 towns overall

  • Galway, Carlow, and Mullingar are top three for hybrid working factors: travel, broadband and mobile

  • Cavan is the best place to enjoy the great outdoors and stay healthy

  • Ballina is the best place to balance work with family

  • Longford was the cheapest town and Newbridge was the safest.

  • Wexford, Athlone and Wicklow are some of the top spots to catch up over coffee or pop out to the shops.

Most affordable

Longford was the most affordable town to buy a house in the study. House prices were based on the average house price in October 2023 (Residential Property Price Index).

Top 5 affordable towns to live & work:  Longford, Ballina, Cavan, Letterkenny and Sligo.

For families

Ballina has taken the top spot for the best place to balance work with a family. To calculate the best town to work with a family, they summed index scores for house prices, crime rate, number of GP surgeries and primary schools.

Top 5 towns for families to live & work:  Ballina, Longford, Castlebar, Enniscorthy and Cavan.

For hybrid working

Galway was the best place for hybrid working – a great way to achieve work-life balance.  To calculate the best town for hybrid working they summed index scores for average broadband speed, 5G mobile coverage and distance to major roads and bus stops.

Top 5 towns for hybrid working:  Galway, Carlow, Mullingar, Swords and Balbriggan.

For health, fitness  & well-being

Cavan came in tops for leisure facilities and green spaces – essential for achieving a good quality of life. To rank the towns they summed the index scores for count of public and community sports facilities, leisure centres, national and public parks and gardens.

Top 5 towns for health & wellbeing:  Cavan, Athy, Ballina, Ashbourne and Killarney.

For shopping & eating

Castlebar was the best place to pop to the shops, grab a bite to eat or catch up over coffee. To find the top towns they summed the index scores for count of major supermarkets and cafes in the area.

Top 5 towns to shop, eat and refresh:  Castlebar, Wexford, Athlone, Arklow and Wicklow.

For the full Index, visit Ireland’s best towns for work-life balance.