By the end of 2011 almost three quarters of US workers will be mobile workers, analyst firm IDC has forecast.
Pressure on companies to provide work-life balance programmes for employees combined with advances in mobile technologies will boost the numbers working remotely around the world, IDC said.
The roll-out of high-speed networks, widespread public Wi-Fi hotspots and fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) technology are allowing employees to work effectively from almost anywhere. Along with this, businesses are seeking to increase business response time and reduce corporate space requirements.
According to IDC, this adds up to those companies that deploy mobile working systems having a competitive advantage.
“Although mobility deployments can bring a number of benefits to companies, they also bring risks associated with sensitive data sitting on small devices that can be easily lost,” warned Stephen Drake, programme director, Mobile Enterprise Services. “Developing a plan around managing and securing devices should be part of any large mobility deployment.”
Regional comparisons indicate the US workforce has the highest percentage of mobile workers, with 68pc of the workforce working remotely for at least part of their job in 2006. However, Japan’s penetration rates will increase the most during the forecast period with mobile workers accounting for nearly 80pc of the workforce by the end of 2011, up from 53pc in 2006.
By Niall Byrne