Employees are spending more time working from home because of the productivity benefits of not having to travel to the office, according to a new report today.

A survey of 1,000 adults by insurance firm Zurich found that almost one in three spends an average of 15 hours a month working from home. One in 20 said they clocked up more than 80 hours a month working outside the office.

Most people said avoiding the daily grind of commuting to work was the main advantage of working from home, although some said they enjoyed the peace and quiet away from noisy colleagues and office distractions.

Other advantages of working from home included the chance for a lie-in, while some people said they enjoyed watching daytime television.

The report said the trend will increase in the coming year because more people are expected to work from home.

Mark Searles, managing director of Zurich, said: "We are going to see popularity of home working rise as both workers and employers seek a better work-life balance."