A quarter of IT professionals have turned down a job because their potential employer didn’t offer flexible working, according to research by online recruitment specialist The IT Job Board.

Almost all of those participating in the study said they would like the option for flexible hours. However half thought employers would refuse their request and 10 percent were concerned they would be labelled a troublemaker.

The IT Job Board has warned that if staff retention policies are not reviewed, companies will be hard hit by an impending IT skills crisis. Advice can also be found at the sites free white paper, The IT Job Board.

Ray Duggins, managing director of The IT Job Board, pointed out the importance of flexible working hours, saying: “Employers have no option but to ensure they are going that extra mile to retain high-calibre candidates – and that starts with an attractive recruitment package”.

As well as flexible working hours, companies are also being urged to play a bigger role in reducing environmental damage by trying to cut down the number of commuter journeys.

“Reducing the amount that people have to travel not only improves the quality of their life, but will be of long-term benefit to the environment,” Duggins said. “Many staff feel they are more productive if they have more choice in the actual times that they work.”

Other findings from the research include that over 80 percent believed roles in the IT sector were suited to flexible working, while 46 percent were already working flexible hours. Seventy three percent believed people with children had more right to flexible working and 36 percent believed flexible working was biased towards women.

The survey comes just before Work Wise Week, which will be held from 16 to 22 May and aims to encourage flexible working.