The inability of managers to monitor remote staff and the belief that flexible working practices went against the business culture were the main barriers to flexible working, the survey by telephony group Inter-Tel Europe found.
Despite this, most employers recognised that flexible working could make staff more productive, more motivated, less stressed and easier to recruit.
Chris Harris, managing director at Inter-Tel Europe, said too many companies were adopting poorly thought out policies on flexible working.
"Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, will have to take flexible working to new heights if they are to attract and retain the best skills. Making more of the technology they already have, or being bold and becoming an early adopter of emerging and cost-saving technologies such as IP telephony would certainly be worth considering," he said.