5 Ways Virtual Training Fits With Remote Working
Key findings from a world report shows that 52% of employees now work from home once a week. It also reports that employees who work from home at least once a month are more likely to feel happy and productive at work.
More organisations are choosing to have fewer offices and desks. Hot desking is becoming commonplace as companies are purposefully ensuring that there are fewer desks than people. This is because many organisations are encouraging their staff to work more flexibly.
Far from the challenge I t once held, working from home is seen in increasingly positive light. It suits most if us. Employees who can flex their workload to suit their lifestyle are more engaged and productive. In fact, according to a Canada Life survey, employees working from home ranked their productivity as 7.7/10, compared with 6.5/10 for office workers.
It is important to recognise that future ways of working will continue to mean more flexible hours and home working and as a result, allow business and employees to be more carbon conscious; via reducing their travel and embracing technology.
While face-to-face (F2F) learning and e-learning still have their places, we can’t ignore how much Virtual Training can benefit remote workers and help promote the ever-changing ways in which we work.
To clarify, we aren’t talking about webinars or recorded learning here. Virtual Training is live, interactive training with a trainer and learners who log in together through a virtual platform like WebEx or Zoom. It has all the wonderful interactivity that you will find in a skilled F2F workshop; practice, discussion, whiteboard, breakout groups etc. The only difference is that the learners are not physically in the same room.
5 ways to show why Virtual Training encourages remote/home working
Virtual Training is a very social way of learning. When working from home, we still crave interaction and many of us need other people and interaction in order to learn effectively. As humans, we like to debate, discuss, share ideas and hear about other people’s experiences to strengthen our own. Discussing challenges and problem solving are much more tangible when working in a group.
Virtual learning offers this level of interaction and contact that cannot be achieved in quite the same way through eLearning or webinars.
If you are a remote worker, it is a great way to meet other people and can give you the chance to network and meet other colleagues from different parts of the organisation, who will likely have different ideas and perspectives to you. To read more about the importance of this, check out our blog about Diversity in Groups.
Recently, we have been discussing how important it is that everyone in an organisation have access to equal learning opportunities, regardless of where they work. Yet often, F2F training takes part in main offices and central hubs, meaning that employees not local to that area must travel in order to attend. For some, this can mean days of unwanted journeys or missing out on the training altogether.
With Virtual Training, you can participate in a virtual workshop from anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet connection. This means everyone, no matter where they are based, can attend. Not having the same access to learning can result in employees feeling isolated or undeveloped. Virtual Training is an easy fix for this challenge.
Embracing the Technology
Most remote workers have adapted to using technology to communicate. The options are vast and ever- changing, forever becoming easier and more intuitive. For example, there is a growing comfort level for learners using their webcams. People have become accustomed to the idea that they can FaceTime their children, or Skype distant relatives, and ‘hop on a Zoom’ without much hesitation. Considering F2F meetings appear to be lessening whereas virtual conferencing looks to be on the rise.
Similarly, where the primary non-verbal communication approach used to be email, companies are starting to use more sophisticated and less formal, more collaborative tools like Microsoft Team, Slack and Skype for Business.
We have seen a shift in the last 10 years, from most people being concerned about the tech, even feeling daunted or overwhelmed by it to embracing it and trusting it to enhance the learning experience. Technology is constantly evolving, and we must adapt with it, lest we be left behind.
Less Time Out
We have already established that Virtual Training requires no travel, which is great for financial budgets and saving carbon, but it also saves time. Travelling a couple of hours each way to attend a day of training was not unusual a year or so ago, but now, people are actively looking for ways to reduce unnecessary travel. With a Virtual Workshop, once finished you are straight back at work with no commute.
Recently, we had a learner share how they were really pleased to be on a ‘Giving Feedback’ workshop, as they had another virtual meeting directly after. The second meeting was to discuss their team members’ performance. They had been able to discuss ideas during the workshop, get suggestions from their colleagues and even practice what they were going to say. Then, immediately after the workshop, they were able to go into the next meeting full of passion and ideas for their team member.
Trainers Can Work Remotely Too
Finally, let’s talk about trainers. Many trainers work flexibly or are often based from home. Virtual Training means that they can design or deliver training from wherever they are, with all the skill and engagement that one would expect in a F2F workshop.
We have known colleagues who have chosen to move to even more remote locations; places they have always dreamed of living, because Virtual Training means they can. One moved to the Highlands of Scotland and the other to Spain! Virtual Training enables them to live where they want whilst promoting positive health and wellbeing. So happy and content trainers able to deliver great live and engaging training from wherever they are.
Final ThoughtsOf course, it’s still nice to meet up physically with our colleagues or attend the occasional F2F workshop. But, with the advancement of technology, the rising demand for less travel and more of our workforces wanting to be remote/flexible; future ways of working must keep changing and evolving to keep pace.