Flexible working has become "critical" for reducing growing levels of stress in British industry, according to a new report.
A survey of 4,000 employers found that more than half were witnessing more stress-related illnesses among staff since the economic downturn.
Almost half of those questioned by workplace provider Regus said the problem was causing an increase in absenteeism, as well as damaging productivity.
John Spencer, chief executive of Regus, said: "This report confirms that the length of the economic downturn and stuttering recovery have put immense strain on businesses and their staff, and underlines the importance of employers taking action to address the matter.
"The most effective way to do this is to extend flexible working options, with seven in 10 workers convinced that this increases wellbeing and reduces stress."