An increasing number of Britons whose jobs require them to commute are boosting their personal productivity by working while they travel, according to research.

A study by recruitment firm Randstad suggested that one of the outcomes of this trend could be better work/life balance, which could prove beneficial for companies implementing absence management policies.

Of the 2,000 British workers surveyed this year, 7.5 per cent said they work while commuting, compared to 4.8 per cent in 2008.

Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of employees said the emergence of devices such as smartphones and tablets has given them the option to work on the move, should they need or want to.

However, almost one in ten (9.2 per cent) said these new technologies have put them under more pressure to carry out tasks related to their jobs while travelling.

Randstad chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Bull pointed out that many commuters try to improve their work/life balance by relaxing during journeys to and from work, but a growing number of "savvy" Brits are using this time to increase their productivity.

He pointed out that the challenging economic environment has led to employees feeling under more pressure to show their worth to employers.

"Our analysis shows the average Brit already feels they are spread too thin by having to work the equivalent of a six-and-a-half day week," added Mr Bull.

"Working on the move looks like a smart way of using downtime to increase productivity and improve your work/life balance to get home as soon as possible rather than staying in the office longer."

The CEO also stressed that it is important for commuters to relax and enjoy other activities such as reading or listening to music during their journeys, as the last thing the economy needs is "a nation of burnt-out employees".

According to predictions from Randstad, one of the key recruitment and talent management trends over the coming months will be increased in-house development and engagement of employees to retain top talent and boost productivity.