Flexible working can help firms beat the downturn, it has been suggestedFlexible working measures are becoming increasingly commonplace and diverse and can bring benefits to companies and their staff alike, according to a senior figure at independent group the Work Foundation.

Associate director Stephen Overell suggested that, in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, a growing number of businesses have been looking to flexible working as a way of adapting to financial constraints.

"The smarter use of technology – to enable people to work in ways which suit them – is definitely something that can help," he explained. "It means that everyone doesn't need to be in the same place at any one time."

Mr Overell added that talk of the traditional nine-to-five becoming a thing of the past is perhaps somewhat premature, but said there is "merit" in extending the provision of flexible working further.

His comments came after research from Work Wise UK found that Britain's average working week is among Europe's longest, while only a third of those who work overtime are rewarded with higher pay or time off in lieu.

Posted by Cameron Thomson