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The 10 happiest cities to work in the UK – in pictures | Guardian Careers | The Guardian

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The 10 happiest cities to work in the UK – in pictures

The 10 happiest cities to work in the UK – in pictures

Employees have rated these cities as top for work happiness, according to a survey by business psychologists OPP. Workers explain why these places have got it right for work-life balance and career happiness

Charlotte Seager

@CharlotteSeager Email

Tue 2 Feb 2016 02.00 EST Last modified on Fri 11 May 2018 08.11 EDT

  • 10 Bristol

    ‘Bristol is a wonderful place to work,’ says Jonathan May, chief executive of Bristol-based company, Hubbub. ‘It has the buzz and culture of a big city while keeping the community feel of a friendly, close-knit town. Office space is cheap so places feel like a bargain compared to other major cities. It’s got lots of green space, is cycle friendly, and packed with independent shops and traders.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 9 Southampton

    ‘In Southampton there’s a big community spirit and it’s great for work happiness,’ says Crystal Mintram, a Southampton-based architectural technician. ‘Though we do have big companies, in the smaller districts there are plenty of local independent businesses. There’s also a lot of volunteer work to get involved in, which adds to the sense of being part of a community that cares and feels important. It’s a special city.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 8 Manchester

    Home to the BBC and Media City, which span Manchester and Salford, this city is becoming known as a media hotspot. ‘There’s a tremendous sense of excitement and ambition around Manchester at the moment,’ says James Layfield, director of Manchester-based company Central Working. ‘You truly feel as though you’re working in the next great global city, which has led to an optimistic and motivated work culture in Manchester.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 7 Nottingham

    ‘It comes as no surprise to hear Nottingham made the top 10,’ says Aaron Dicks, director of local business Impression. ‘With the investment in the creative quarter and the growing number of Google partnerships, it’s an exciting place to be for creative businesses. But there’s something to suit all tastes and skillsets. There’s also lots of independent bars and restaurants, and plenty of activities too.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 6 Sheffield

    ‘There’s a good and happy quality of life here,’ says Ruth Günay, co-owner of Sheffield-based Turkish restaurant Lokanta. ‘People are friendly, it’s a small, community-feel city – but with plenty of arts and culture and a diverse variety of different jobs. There’s also a lot of independent businesses here – which I think makes people happier as they are pursuing their personal ambitions.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 5 Plymouth

    ‘Plymouth is situated in such a fabulous location, teeming with green parks and stunning views,’ says Plymouth-based photographer Amber McCarthy. ‘It is just such a relaxed, easy working life in Plymouth. Everyone seems to work at a much slower pace but still gets the job done. It’s just a great city to work in, without the intensity and fast pace of a big city. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’

    Photograph: John Boud/Alamy

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  • 4 Brighton

    ‘Brighton is full of colour. It’s a hub for digital startups,’ says Sophie Turton, digital content manager at Bozboz in Brighton. ‘Of course, the same can be said of London, however, what sets Brighton apart is the focus on work-life balance. It’s very unusual for companies to expect employees to work overtime without compensation and most things are within walking distance, taking away the stress of commuting. Brighton is also a city that encourages individuality. It’s a truly enjoyable city in which to work and an inspiring place to grow – in whatever direction that may be.’

    Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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  • 3 Birmingham

    ‘Birmingham is a great city to work in. Demographically we are the youngest city in Europe, and with that there’s a huge sense of optimism,’ says James Whatmore, director of Birmingham-based company JobLogic. ‘We’re big enough to have the job opportunities, infrastructure and lifestyle of a major city, but we’re small enough to remain friendly and down to earth.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 2 Liverpool

    ‘Liverpool is one of the happiest places to work because of what the city and its people are like: friendly, collaborative, supportive,’ says Matt Kennedy, centre manager at local startup incubator, Launch22. ‘There is a cosmopolitan feel around the place. We have come a long way over the last decade, and I think there’s an excitement about what the future holds.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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  • 1 Norwich

    In Norwich a staggering 77% of people say they love their job. ‘Norwich is one of few UK cities that still retains a strong local identity and with that a strong sense of community – people walk down the street and say hello to each other, baristas remember your coffee order, you get to know all about interesting local projects,’ says Norwich-based journalist Lauren Razavi. ‘This strong sense of self is definitely part of why Norwich has been ranked as the UK’s best city to work in. It’s also much more affordable, friendly and picturesque than say London or Manchester.’

    Photograph: Alamy

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