Increasing the number of public sector employees working from home or on flexi-time would generate around £8 billion a year, new research has shown.
The move would cut office costs by freeing up desk space, reducing sickness levels and increasing productivity by between 5% and 15%, according to the Leaner and Greener II: Putting Buildings to Work report.
A 5% increase would equate to £8 billion of staff time, it claims
The report, launched by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, calls on public services to share back-office accommodation, depots and customer service desks to save cash.
It also suggests local services, such as councils, health organisations and emergency services, should pool their property assets so buildings can be used for the best purpose in that area.
Mr Pickles called on civil servants to be "ruthless" in finding ways to cut costs.
He said: "Taxpayers have the right to expect public servants to be ruthless in the pursuit of good value - and utterly unforgiving of bureaucracy. The best councils are doing everything in their power to make taxpayers' money go further. Cutting out waste, sharing back offices and redesigning services.
"This report clearly shows how it is possible to deliver real savings and other benefits. The expertise is there, the experience is there. Time to get on and do it".
The inquiry was carried out by Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF), which is made up of businesses, government agencies and parliamentarians.
© 2011 Press Association