It seems bosses feel more able than their employees to work from home, according to research from Ipsos MORI. The market research body discovered that more than half (52 per cent) of workers feel they have to be in the office to get their work done, whereas for bosses the figure is just 19 per cent.

Study participants were asked whether they agreed it was “necessary to be present in your place of work”, with the majority agreeing that it was. The reason could simply be down to technology, as just 25 per cent of employees had a company laptop, compared to 65 per cent of managers. It was a similar result for company smartphones, with the 15 per cent of employees that owned a device paling in comparison to the 48 per cent of bosses.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, employees are less willing than bosses to use their own smartphones for work purposes. Some 48 per cent of managers were prepared to use their own devices for work, compared with 30 per cent of employees.

74% of bosses believe remote access is ‘important’

The study, which was backed by Microsoft, was conducted to mark Flexible Working Awareness Day on May 6. It also discovered that 65 per cent of managers believed that flexible working would boost productivity. This was probably the driving force behind 74 per cent of bosses saying that enabling their employees to work wherever they want was “important”.

The issue of security was also raised, to determine how confident bosses were that their data was safe, wherever employees set up workstations. Nearly three-quarters of bosses said they were confident that shared information could be adequately protected, wherever their employees were working.

Commenting on the study, founder of Enterprise Nation, Emma Jones, told “If firms don’t feel data will be secure or their employees will be able to work as productively (or more so) when out of the office, then it’s a non-starter.

“Of the many thousands of small businesses we work with up and down the country, we find that those that flourish the most are those with the more open and collaborative cultures. Providing employees with the right tools to do their job and the sense of empowerment that comes from flexible working is part of creating the right culture for success.”