Home-Based Businesses on the Rise

A rising trend of home-based businesses and corporate home offices continues to develop, according to International Data Corp. (IDC). In a new study, the firm tracked the home-office market and estimated an increase of 2 million home-based businesses and more than 3 million corporate home office households between 2011 and 2015 in the United States, due to the improving economy.

The study, U.S. Home Office 2011–2015 Forecast: Recovery Drives Interest in IT as Home Office Households Adjust to New Economic Realities, found that PCs will be integral to the home-business landscape, and portable-form factors will dominate the total annual shipments. IDC anticipated a 5 percent increase in the number of notebook-owning home-office households, in the highest growth rate of any home office technology category.

In a sign that the economy is improving, a net annual increase in telecommuting is anticipated by approximately 180,000 telecommuters, considering that in hard economic times, many return to the corporate office, to favor closer daily contact with colleagues and supervisors over potential productivity. Other findings include the addition of 450,000 net new home-businesses  per year in 2013 and 2014 among the two million home-based businesses estimated by 2015. As the need to be more productive increases, so will extended workdays for professionals; at the end of 2015, the number of home office households used by corporate employees to work outside of normal business hours will surpass 27 million.

During the study, the firm anticipated the number of different types of home office households. In addition, it projected ownership of desktop and notebook PCs, printers, MFPs, LANs, wireless LANs, and mobile phones in home office households.The firm, focusing on technology, telecommunications and consumer technology, defined 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.

Throughout the next few years, according to the study, single-function printer penetration will continue to fall, as preference develops for MFPs and their multiplies capabilities among home office households. By the end of 2015, the study estimated that nearly three-quarters of networked home office households will be wireless-enabled, including smartphones, whose indispensability will continue.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

For more information, visit www.idc.com.

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