U.S. Mobile Workforce Will Surpass 105 Million by 2020

Monday May 9, 2016

Around the world, the workforce is rapidly evolving in ways that will change how people and businesses perform. We’ve long seen the impact of globalization and the way barriers between nations have fallen aside for faster and more efficient distribution of products and ideas.

Both a byproduct of and a symptom of the future of the global workplace is the growth in the mobile workforce. According to recent research from International Data Corporation, the U.S. mobile workforce hit 96.2 million people in 2015. In just five years, that number is expected to jump to 105.4 million.

Who Are Mobile Workers?

According to data from Citrix, more than 6 in 10 workers said they work outside of the office at least part of the time. However, IDC found that those working in manufacturing, construction, retail and health care are quickly adding the greatest numbers to the mobile workforce. Contractors, home health care workers, real estate agents and on-the-road salespeople are the people you’d most likely find working away from an office.

However, there’s a growing list of companies that open up telecommuting options for their traditionally office-based staff, allowing them to work from home, cafe or nearly any location with wireless Internet access.

What’s Driving Growth in the Mobile Workforce?

Today’s businesses thrive on the speed at which they’re able to share information and complete tasks. This is just one of the catalysts that support a mobile workforce. As the cost of mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, continues to drop, more companies look at mobile workers as not only a benefit to employees who want greater flexibility, but as a way to reduce costs as well.

By supporting bring-your-own-device policies for both office and remote workers, nearly 70 percent of businesses polled by IDC saw operating and capital expenses drop. According to TechRadar, the biggest obstacle for companies that want to enable their mobile workforce is security, which many organizations address by selecting certain apps that are safe for system-wide use.

What to Look for in the Future

To ensure the mobile workforce is able to perform at levels that employers expect, a lot depends on innovation in the development of mobile applications that not only make workers’ lives easier but ensure security as well.

Protecting data is a huge component of any remote worker or BYOD program, and it’s a factor that drives future developments in the Cartridge World portfolio of products, services and solutions.