The U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate throughout the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020, according to IDC (Intl. Data Corp.),, Framingham, Mass.

By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.  “This expectation will be supplemented by new solutions specifically intended to manage the challenges associated with the growing needs of the mobile workforce.”What are the primary reasons for this growth? One reason is increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets combined with the growing acceptance of corporate BYOD (bring your own device) programs.

Another motive is innovations in mobile technology such as biometric readers, wearables, voice control, NFC (near-field communications), and augmented reality are enabling workers in completely new ways, increasing productivity by enhancing communications and business workflows. According to a recent IDC survey, 69.1% of enterprise mobility stakeholders polled saw a reduction in opex or capex costs as a result of implementing BYOD programs.

Mobility has become synonymous with productivity both inside and outside the workplace, and the mass adoption of mobile technology in the United States has cultivated an environment where workers expect to leverage mobile technology at work, according to Bryan Bassett, research analyst, Mobile Enterprise Device Solutions at IDC.

Key findings from IDC’s mobile worker forecast include news on office-based and non-office-based mobile worker populations, which will stay in relative balance to one another throughout the forecast, with non-office-based mobile workers representing more than two-thirds of the total mobile worker population.

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