The owner-managers of many of Britain’s SMEs are embracing flexible working practices, according to a new report.Research carried out by Lloyds TSB and the Open University found that the younger owners of SMEs were using a host of practices to try and make their work more flexible.Nearly two thirds (61 per cent) said they tried to make their job as flexible as possible, with 46 per cent saying they worked from home, one in five (22 per cent) using flexitime and 12 per cent staggering their hours.Surprisingly, it is the smaller SMEs who most embrace these flexible working practices. In firms with less than ten employees, 74 per cent of owner-managers had adopted flexible practices. In larger firms (with 20 to 49 employees) only half had adopted these sorts of initiatives.Overall, nearly half (42 per cent) of the SME owner-managers said that they were satisfied with the work-life balance they had achieved. Despite this, 39 per cent still have to work over 50 hours every week and half would like to be able to spend more time with their families."All too often small business owners see a good work life balance as a distant dream, but our research demonstrates owner-managers are now recognising the benefits and embracing flexible working," said Stephen Pegge, head of communications at Lloyds TSB Business.Elsewhere, personneltoday.com reports that the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the British Chambers of Commerce have formed a joint team to search for examples of good flexible working practice among Britain’s SMEs. The examples will be used to produce a guide for other businesses.© Adfero Ltd

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