Letting staff use their own technology, such as smartphones and tablet PCs, for work purposes increase productivity by as much as 30 percent, says CitrixOnline.

Research by the software company, which was conducted by YouGov, revealed a third of firms that let staff use their personal communications devices saw productivity increase of more than ten percent, while one in ten companies said productivity improved by more than 30 percent.

More than four in five (45 percent) of small businesses say they already allow staff to use personal technology for work purposes. However, 57 percent of firms admitted there have no policies regarding the use of personal technology for business purposes and more than half of the companies are not aware of all the devices being used by their staff for business.

Nearly a third (32 percent) of firms said they were most concerned over the security implications of allowing staff to download documents and applications to personal devices, while 29 percent admitted they were worried about letting employees remotely access corporate networks.

Furthermore, employees being distracted by personal devices was also a top concern, cited by 32 percent of firms.

More than two in five (21 percent) of UK businesses admitted they feel under more pressure to introduce or increase mobile/flexible working practices compared to five years ago with 30 percent saying internal staff are driving this pressure. Nearly two thirds of staff (64 percent) say they want to improve their work/life balance by reducing their commuting times and 61 percent want to make their lives easier by using the same device for business and personal use

"As the boundaries between office hours and personal time become less distinct, managers are losing control of how people 'work', as individuals want to prioritise what they do," said Andrew Millard, senior director of marketing, at Citrix Online.

"It is no surprise therefore that there is so much resistance to workshifting, as managers have to move to evaluating performance on results over time rather than on the basis of physically seeing them working at their desks. The good news is that these devices enable employees to take charge of their time, by self-prioritising in an effective and controlled way."

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