The analyst firm attributes the uptake to growing pressure on companies to provide work/life balance programmes, and advances in mobile technologies.
IDC's research showed that workers are demanding more flexibility and mobility in their schedules, and have a "higher comfort level" with remote access technologies and mobile devices.
Furthermore, the proliferation of high-speed networks, widespread public Wi-Fi and fixed-mobile convergence allows employees to work effectively from almost anywhere.
"Mobility deployments bring a number of benefits to companies, but they also bring risks associated with sensitive data sitting on small devices that can be easily lost," said Stephen Drake, programme director for mobile enterprise services at IDC.
"Developing a plan to manage and secure these devices should be part of any large mobility deployment."
Regional comparisons indicate that the US workforce has the highest percentage of mobile workers at 68 percent in 2006.
However, Japan's penetration rates will increase the most during the forecast period to account for nearly 80 percent of the workforce by the end of 2011, up from 53 percent in 2006.
The report concludes that organisations deploying mobile working technologies enjoy a strategic competitive advantage over competitors that have not invested in integrating mobility into their environment.
This is largely down to increased business response times and lower corporate space and leasing requirements.
One billion mobile workers by 2011
Staff Writer on Jan 16, 2008 7:07AM