About three-quarters of UK office workers 'get more done' if they work flexibly, and 38% say they are more creative when flexible

Around 70% of British white collar workers who are free to work out of the office say they are able to get "more done" this way, and 38% say flexible work allows them be more creative, a new report sponsored by Microsoft for Anywhere Working Week finds.

The report also finds that cultural obstacles related to trust are holding back a greater expansion of flexible working conditions.

Employees are worried about what their co-workers think of them when they do not work in the office. There is also an overriding idea that flexible working means only 'working from home'.

The study found that close to three out of four UK office workers did not think there was total trust when it came to working out of the office. This is cited as the largest obstacle to flexible working, while not having access to appropriate technology is a problem for only 24% polled.

The study showed that office workers who work outside the office have a tendency to overcompensate as a way to change any negative perceptions from co-workers. Close to half, or 47%, deliberately work to be highly visible by making more phone calls and sending more emails. Close to 30% say they feel guilty when not in the office, and 39% work a longer day to show they are not 'shirking from home'.

An overwhelming 92% do not consider having more distractions as the largest obstacle to flexible working.

Only 22% said caring for children was the reason they wanted to work outside the office.

"People don't need to be shackled to their desks to be productive or to collaborate with their colleagues. Work should be a thing you do not a place you go. Flexible working is more about choosing a location that best suits your requirements to get the job done. This can mean working from a variety of locations during the day, be that on the move, a shared knowledge hub, a coffee shop, a remote office or at home if need be," Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft, said.

Copyright Press Association 2013