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Mobile workers to make 60% of total US workforce by 2024, says IDC

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The US mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next four years, increasing from 78.5 million in 2020 to 93.5 million mobile workers in 2024, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the total workforce, a new IDC report said on Tuesday.

Mobile workers are those who are enabled with mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) by their company to complete their assigned tasks and workflows.

The mobile worker population is segmented into two core categories: information mobile workers and frontline mobile workers.

“COVID-19’s disruption of the US labour force has had a dramatic impact on how large businesses operate and will continue to shape how and where people work in the months to come,” said Bryan Bassett, senior research analyst with IDC.

The ability to quickly mobilize different segments of a company’s workforce with capable and secure mobile solutions has never been more important, and “US organisations are signaling that investment in mobile-based management and security solutions will take precedence in 2020 and beyond”.

Information mobile workers typically work from a single location, have dedicated computing resources, and tend to create, transform, and distribute data and/or content using productivity and enterprise applications.

Examples include programmers, business analysts, marketing specialists, researchers, billing clerks, lawyers and accountants.

Frontline mobile workers perform client-facing or operational activities onsite or in the field that require distributed, mobile access to data, content, applications and workflows.

Examples include store associate, nurse, lab technician, construction worker, field service worker and hospitality worker.

Frontline workers currently make up the majority of workers in the US, accounting for 57 per cent of the total worker population.

However, in 2020, only 49 per cent of frontline workers are currently enabled with mobile devices, compared with 55 per cent of information workers.

Meanwhile, the number of information workers is expected to see accelerated growth over the next 12-18 months, largely because this segment has been much less susceptible to the immediate effects of the pandemic, the IDC said.

The number of information mobile workers will also grow due to an expansion in remote and work-from-home workers in the wake of COVID-19.

A recent IDC survey found that 87 per cent of US enterprises expect their employees to continue working from home three or more days per week once mandatory closures are lifted, and 90 per cent of enterprises think it is likely more of their workers will work from home in the future.

“To meet the needs of more mobile, remote, and work-from-home workers, US enterprises have indicated that mobile security and mobile management solutions will be top spending priorities going forward,” Bassett said.

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