One-third of workers do their jobs outside the standard hours of 9 to 5, according to a survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Commissioned by First Direct, the report found that evenings are no longer just for the entertainment industry. The study found 58% of manufacturing employees, half of all trades people and 36% of managers now work at least some of their day between 5pm and 9am.

Chris Pilling, the chief executive of banking firm First Direct, which commissioned the report, says employment patterns are having to change because consumers are demanding services 24 hours a day.

The UK is the only country in the EU in which all workers can opt out of the maximum 48-hour working week - with 13% of British workers exceeding that limit. Full-time British employees also work the longest average hours in Europe - 43.5 per week, compared with 39.9 in Germany and 38.2 in France.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, said: "What we are seeing is the beginnings of a complete revolution in the way we work. The changes are unavoidable, and crucial if the UK economy is going to be able to compete in the global economy in the face of competition already emerging from India and China".