As the number of businesses offering work from home opportunities increases, it is important that employers are given training to manage remote workers.

This is the conclusion of a report by BT Business, which found that 74 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses now operate some form of home working.

However, it also revealed that 88 per cent of small business managers have no formal training in how to supervise employees who work remotely.

BT Business pointed out that managing homeworkers differs from managing office-based staff because homeworkers have different needs in terms of communication.

The firm said managers need to make sure home-based staff feel part of the team and are not left "out of the loop" when it comes to new opportunities and promotion.

Indeed, 47 per cent of employees were worried that they would feel isolated if they worked from home, while 22 per cent believed they would lack IT support.

"Information and communications technology has provided the means for millions of people to work remotely yet many businesses are hampered by outdated management techniques," said Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business.

Recent research from the Confederation of British Industry revealed that 46 per cent of all companies now offer remote working opportunities.