Why Online Training is Vital to the Future of Remote Work
Posted on 10/15/20 By Lorman Team
Until recently, employees who worked from home were often the minority within organizations. Any remote workers who required special attention or extra resources were dealt with on a one-off basis without further thought.
It was easier for companies to address problems as they occurred when only 17% of employees worked remotely. But that method won't work when nearly 50% of the American workforce works remotely.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 45% of employees work in positions and industries where telework is feasible. However, it is unknown what percentage will actually continue to work remotely after stay-at-home orders are lifted.
What is known is that more employees want to continue to work from home, and more employers are willing to offer remote work options.
Training and the Remote Workforce
Learning to manage remote workers is a process of trial and error for most companies. However, certain training trends are guaranteed to become the new norm as more employees work from home.
1. On-the-job training will become virtual
New hires in customer-facing positions, such as sales or customer service, usually learn on-site through shadowing. Sales trainees often accompany seasoned professionals on sales calls. But that's hard to do when many people are working from home.
eLearning platforms can provide visual training to help new employees learn from a distance. An added advantage is the 24/7 availability of online training materials. The inaccessibility of information is a recurring complaint of remote workers, but the convenience of online learning means the information is always readily available.
2. Compliance is still crucial, even when remote
Compliance requirements won't disappear because employees aren't in the office. Many of the privacy and work protection requirements still apply.
Online training on subjects such as sexual harassment or non-biased hiring practices enables organizations to continue to meet compliance guidelines remotely. Legal requirements for compliance training can be provided online, and content providers like Lorman provide managers the ability to track employee progression.
3. Onboarding training can easily happen online
Onboarding will look very different in a more digital world. Orientation may no longer involve touring a facility and finding office space. Instead, employees will need to be trained on topics such as workplace diversity or business ethics.
Training and development must become more engaging if it is going to be successful. With more digital-only employees, companies have to develop strong eLearning programs that can be available at any time. Flexibility is an essential factor in a successful training program.
4. Employee development keeps staff engaged and motivated
According to Harvard Business Review, managers are crucial to the success of a remote workforce. Workers take their cues from their managers, so the more comfortable executives and supervisors are with remote technology, the more likely the employees will be too.
Employee development for managers will be a vital part of any training program. Coaching a remote workforce is a new experience for most managers, so they will need critical skills that help keep employees motivated and engaged.
At the same time, employees will benefit from training on how to be productive remote workers who can avoid distractions and remain connected to coworkers. Employee development will be central to keeping a physically distanced workforce engaged.
The Future of Remote Work and eLearning
The working landscape has changed, and for 50% of the working population, there is the possibility of continuing to work remotely. That change presents challenges for the training and development of employees who may never enter an office building. It also requires changes in traditional in-person training to accommodate the six-feet of social distancing and the maximum size of gatherings.
Incorporating eLearning into business operations enables organizations to pivot quickly from one training method to another. Training programs must focus not only on the on-site employees but also on the remote and distributed teams.
With the right tools, employers can build an agile online training program for today and tomorrow.
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