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Nine-to-five hours 'in decline'

The nine-to-five working day is in decline due to new flexible working legislation, according to new reports.

A survey released yesterday by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform of 1,400 workplaces found that 92 per cent of employers said they would consider a flexible working request from any member of staff.

The employment relations minister, Pat McFadden, said: "More people want to balance work with family and lifestyle and more employers are increasingly recognising that flexibility helps retain good staff.

"We have developed a staged approach for employees to request flexible working which is proving effective - from giving the right to request flexible working to parents with children under six on to carers of disabled children under 18 and adults."

The Work-Life Balance Employer Survey also found that the amount of workplaces providing childcare facilities or other arrangements to help parents combine work with family commitments has more than doubled since 2003.

Growing numbers of employees opting for flexible working options has been partly enabled by developments in IT.

Home PCs with internet connections suitable for home-working are now widespread in the UK, making the home office a viable solution for many employees, who cut their carbon emissions in the process by leaving their cars in the garage.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.