Flexible working is employees' favourite benefitHR professionals who wish to make their employees happy could be interested in the results of a survey of what summer benefits staff would prefer.

A total of 38 per cent of those surveyed by OfficeTeam said they would prefer flexible working schedules, while almost one in three (32 per cent) would like to leave work early on a Friday.

"Employees appreciate flexibility in their jobs because it gives them greater control and enables them to handle other commitments without sacrificing their work performance," said Robert Hosking, executive director of the company.

Mr Hosking added that flexible scheduling is an inexpensive way to increase and maintain motivation.

A further six per cent of those surveyed would like to see some form of activities on offer and five per cent claimed a more relaxed dress code would make them smile in the soaring heat of summer.

According to Debbie Bird, editor of babyworld.co.uk, flexible working arrangements help to create a healthy balance between professional and family life.