Less than a quarter (23%) of employees have taken advantage of the option to obtain flexible working arrangements since its extension in June 2014, according to research from O2 Business.
Its research of more than 2,000 employees found that a lack of trust (31%) was the main barrier preventing more widespread adoption of flexible working arrangements among respondents.
Other barriers cited include a general business culture that does not encourage working away from the office (28%) and a lack of technology or tools to facilitate it (20%).
The research also found that despite more than half (53%) of respondents being aware of the new flexible working rights, just 12% believe their organisation will recognise flexible working in 2015.
Paul Lawton, general manager of SMB [small and medium-sized business] at O2 Business, said: “It’s encouraging to see more people becoming aware of the right to request legislation since it came into force in June.
“However, our research shows that the pressure to be seen in the office and a lack of tools to enable remote working is still preventing the benefits that working flexibly brings, such as improved morale, high levels of employer loyalty and productivity gains.
“At O2, we actively encourage our own employees, customers and other organisations to embrace flexible working, so they can be as productive and efficient as possible no matter where they are.
“There is now a great choice of business technology and tools available to make this way of working commonplace in 2015 and beyond.”