Increasing numbers of employers are embracing the benefits of homeworking, according to a new survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Pertemps.

The research shows that 46 per cent of companies now offer homeworking opportunities, compared to just 14 per cent two years ago.

In addition, other flexible working practices have received a boost as employers look for new ways to increase staff productivity and reduce costs.

For example, opportunities for term-time working and job sharing have also increased.

CBI director-general John Cridland said: "The boundaries of the traditional nine to five in the office or on the shop floor are becoming more and more blurred.

"Employers are embracing the benefits of flexible working, even as the economy heads into more uncertain times."

As well as motivating staff by allowing them to balance work and family commitments, homeworking can also help employers to reduce their carbon footprint, the CBI claimed.

Recent research carried out by Microsoft Windows Mobile reveals that 70 per cent of employees believe they are able to enjoy a better work-life balance thanks to flexible working and mobile technology.