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          Flexible working and an increase in the demands of customers are being cited as the reasons why more people than ever before are no longer working a traditional nine-to-five shift.

          According to new research from RingCentral UK, a third of employees now spend more than ten hours a day at work, with over three-quarters responding to business emails after they have left the office.

          Similarly, more than two thirds of those questioned said that they would regularly answer work calls in the evening.

          One suggestion is that people are perhaps finding it so difficult to switch off from work now because mobile working technology makes it easy to stay connected to their job.

          A staggering 93 per cent of the survey’s respondents said that they now work from home for at least some part of the week, while another 76 per cent admitted that they complete tasks as they travel.

          Another reason behind the fact that people are unable to stop working once they finish for the day is that customer expectations are on the increase – with many expecting to be able to easily access the person they need to speak to at the first time of asking.

          Over half of companies said that this was now the norm for them when it came to managing clients’ demands, while 55 per cent also said that consumers were now insisting that they receive an urgent response to any queries that they might have.

          This apparent need for customers’ queries and calls to be dealt with immediately also highlights the important role that virtual offices can play for businesses.

          RingCentral UK’s chief executive Lars Nordhild Ronning said: “Business life has changed dramatically and companies need to embrace technology that can accommodate these changing work patterns, driven by mobility, agility and client responsiveness.”

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