Nearly half of UK office workers are "free to roam and work from home" according to CIOs questioned in a survey by Virgin Media Business, although many are still concerned about security to make the practice more widespread.

Virgin questioned 500 CIOs and found that 48 percent of office workers can now work from home and on the go. And 70 percent of organisations believe offering more technology choices would "create happier, more motivated staff and reduce absenteeism".

But 40 percent of those surveyed said they often overhear staff complaining about being tied to their desk. The survey found, however, that half of organisations are reluctant to introduce more choice because of security concerns.

More than one in three respondents stated that "working closer together" would be a direct benefit of a more flexible way of working, while over 50 percent felt that flexible working would "actually improve work attendance".

That's despite traditional fears among some managers that flexible or remote working can lead to lower productivity. Yahoo recently clamped down on remote working among staff, claiming it wasn't good for the sharing of ideas or productivity.

The large majority of CIOs questioned in the Virgin survey said that giving staff devices that could answer email, send files, make calls and communicate with others via IM on the go would "boost employee engagement".

Duncan Higgins, director of products and marketing at Virgin Media Business, said: "In the past employers have imposed monochrome, inflexible rules which haven't allowed staff to work in a way that lets them flourish. CIOs now clearly see there's an opportunity to encourage a new connected collaboration culture which capitalises on people's preferences."