Managers see the benefits of home working for their staff but are less willing to try it themselves or pay for it, according to a new report.
A survey of 237 multinational corporations found that 80 per cent would have some staff teleworking in the next two years, up from 54 per cent today.
Only 13 per cent of companies currently provide financial or material help in setting up a home office.
More than half said they had delayed introducing teleworking because of management fears that they would not be able to monitor staff. And few senior directors were keen to telework full-time themselves.
"There's a mindset with managers that this works for other people but not for ourselves," said Andrew Palmer, senior editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, which carried out the survey.
"It's difficult to see why they feel this way. If you can't sort out problems with working from home you have bigger problems than remote working. However, the office isn't going to disappear any time soon."
The report found an increasing trend towards 'virtual teams', based around network communication rather than physical interaction.
Improved communications and the globalisation of businesses were seen as major drivers in the move towards teleworking.
"Nearly half of our staff telework at some time or another," said Kevin Harvey, vice president and UK country manager for AT&T, which sponsored the survey.
"We've saved over $150m. Two-thirds of that in increased productivity, $35m in facilities savings and $15m in staff retention.
"The last figure was the most surprising but, when you think about it, satisfied staff don't leave."
The report also suggested that the average commuting time for Europe, America and Asia was 80 minutes, and that teleworkers generally worked for 60 minutes extra a day in lieu of commuting.
The spread of broadband connections has also encouraged home work. Broadband set-up costs in the UK can be offset against tax for homeworkers since 2002.
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