Greater flexible working has been called forMore emphasis needs to be placed on the benefits of flexible working for both staff and businesses, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of CMI, said that research by the group has revealed that in spite of the recession, 57 per cent of respondents are keen to initiate flexible working for all in the UK.

She added that this opinion echoed the CMI’s view that flexible working needed to be made available to all workers, rather than just those with children.

Ms Spellman added: “Flexible working can have a significant impact on employee motivation, engagement, productivity and overall performance and managers play a central role in the successful introduction of such working practices.”

While she admitted that employers need to be receptive to the needs of employees when designing flexible working offers, ideally, when, where and how the work is carried out should be left up to the individuals.

The comments come after research by the Centre for Policy Studies found that if money were not a constraint, only one in five women would continue working full-time.