Businesses may stop employees from working at home or having flexible hours because of the credit crunch, a working union says.

However, this would be a mistake because there are benefits for both employees and their businesses of this privilege, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) says.

According to research by the organisation, UK commuters travel for 54 minutes on average a day, with one in five spending over an hour commuting.

Paul Sellers, TUC working time policy advisor, says employers like flexible and home working because it brings many benefits to the business.

"Bosses want their staff to be fit and ready to work, not having had an accident and not being exhausted before they get there," he added.

According to research by the Department of Transport, between spring 2007 and spring 2008, there was an increase of five per cent in people using buses and trains.

It also showed in spring 2008 the average score for overall satisfaction of bus journeys was 82 out of a possible 100.