Bosses in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggle to measure the performance of remote staff.

This is according to a study conducted by BT Business which suggests that 47 per cent of such managers have difficulties in assessing how productive home workers are.

Additionally, it was found that 80 per cent of SME leaders have never received any formal training concerning how to manage home-based staff.

The report recommends that businesses learn from the younger so-called ‘MySpace generation’, who are increasingly comfortable with virtual interactions.

"There is a worrying lack of both management and IT skills for 21st century flexible working despite the growth in home working amongst small businesses," stated Bill Murphy, managing director at BT Business.

Recently, Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, stated that large organisations in the UK are generally more capable of providing their staff with flexible working arrangements than their smaller counterparts.