The benefits of flexible working for individuals and businesses will be highlighted during Work From Home Week, which is now underway and will run until January 26th.

The event is aimed at people looking for 'an escape from office life' and hopes to offer solutions that could facilitate the switch to homeworking.

According to figures cited on the Work From Home Week website, over four million people typically work in this way across the UK.

This figure marks an increase of 13 per cent from five years ago, with the biggest growth occurring in the south-east, Wales and Scotland.

Simon Cliffe, the organiser of Work From Home Week, pointed out that this topic hit the headlines last year, when the new boss of Yahoo banned the company's employees from working remotely.

He said the "outcry" that swept across the blogosphere in response to this decision is indicative of how passionate many people are about this subject.

Commenting on the benefits of remote working, Mr Cliffe pointed out that it can remove many of the stresses of regular office life.

"Homeworking can offer the flexibility that doesn't usually exist in full-time employment, enabling you to fit work in around other commitments and allowing you to create a working environment that suits you and your working style," he said.

According to a survey of over 1,000 managers released by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) last year, 94 per cent of employers now offer some sort of flexible working within their staff rostering arrangements.

Charles Elvin, chief executive of the ILM, said: "Flexible working can offer real business benefits, as well as increased staff engagement."

More than four out of five (82 per cent) managers said offering this option had resulted in improvements in productivity, commitment and retention of staff, while 62 per cent said it enhanced their organisation's ability to respond to customer needs.

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