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Brits spend more hours chained to their office desks than their European cousins - because British bosses simply don't trust their staff to work at home instead of in the office.

Home teleworking, once expected to revolutionise the workplace, is increasing in Europe, but it has failed to take off as predicted in the UK.

Stressed Brits are more likely to use teleworking as a way to take extra work home than as an alternative to working from the office, according to a report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC claims that staff in Austria, Denmark and Finland are the most likely to work from home (around ten per cent of the workforce in these countries often opt not to go into the office). This compares to 2.5 per cent in Britain.

But when it comes to the occasional bit of out-of-hours graft, a fifth of Brits take extra work home, compared to the European Union's average of seven per cent.

"It seems the countries known for their high trust relationships at work and good work-life balance are where employers are happy to let staff work from home," said TUC deputy general secretary Brendan Barbar.

"We seem to have some of the least trusting bosses in Europe."

Barber added that British bosses needed to shape up. "When UK employers talk about flexibility, too often they simply mean their rights to hire and fire," he said. ®

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