Improving U.S. Economy Drives Growth in Home-Based Businesses, After-Hours Worker and Telecommuter Households, IDC Says 

FRAMINGHAM, MA, March 17, 2011 – Despite the difficult conditions that have characterized the U.S. economy over the past three years, the number of home-based businesses and corporate home offices has continued to increase. According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast, the home office market will add nearly 2 million home-based businesses and more than 3 million corporate home office households between 2011 and 2015.

As the home office household landscape continues to change, so too does the type of technologies these households depend on. PCs will remain central to home worker productivity, and portable form factors will continue to account for the majority of total annual shipments to this market; the number of notebook-owning home office households will increase by 5.0% annually — the highest growth rate of any home office technology category. Single-function printer penetration will continue to decline rapidly, reflecting home office households' growing preference for MFPs and their multiple capabilities. By the end of 2015, nearly three-quarters of networked home office households will be wireless-enabled. Smartphones are rapidly becoming an indispensable home office asset.

"Home office households continue to spend more on advanced technology than households in general," said Justin Jaffe, senior research analyst for Small and Medium-Sized Business and Home Office Research at IDC. "With economic conditions continuing to improve, these households will continue to lead the way for technology adoption across a variety of categories from notebook computers and wireless networks to mobile phones."

Additional key findings of this study include the following:

The home office market will add nearly 2.0 million home-based businesses by 2015, with over 450,000 net new home-based businesses per year in 2013 and 2014.

The need to be more productive is translating into extended workdays for professionals, and the number of home office households used by corporate employees to work outside of normal business hours will surpass 27 million at the end of 2015.

Telecommuting continues to be an economic bellwether — when times are tough, many return to the corporate office, giving up potential productivity gains for closer daily contact with colleagues and supervisors. Improving economic conditions will lead to a net annual increase of approximately 180,000 telecommuters each year through 2015.

The IDC study, U.S. Home Office 2011–2015 Forecast: Recovery Drives Interest in IT as Home Office Households Adjust to New Economic Realities (IDC #227268) forecasts the number of different types of home office households along with ownership of desktop and notebook PCs, printers, MFPs, LANs, wireless LANs, and mobile phones in home office households in the United States through 2015.

Note: IDC defines corporate after-hours workers as those who take work home from traditional jobs after normal business hours and telecommuters as corporate employees who work at home during normal business hours three days per month or more.