Due to both the pandemic and recent advancements in technology, the world of work has changed dramatically. With the rise of remote work, many organisations have been forced to rethink their learning and development strategies. But how can we continue to learn and develop new skills as we experience this hybrid working post Covid, and what does the future of working from home have in store for us?
What is remote working?
Remote working can be physically freeing, but often mentally challenging due to isolation. While working from home can provide more autonomy, it can also mean less support and opportunities to learn from colleagues, along with potential difficulties around building meaningful relationships with others.
Impact of remote work on development
Due to the prevalence of remote work, some office-cultivated skill sets can be lost. Here are the areas we find are most at risk due to hybrid working post covid.
Social and communication skills can be negatively impacted by remote work, and a lack of learning by ‘osmosis’ from those around you can impact the development of soft skills and opportunities to network.
Remote working lacks the tangible connections that office work provides. It is potentially more difficult to absorb and consolidate new information, practise new skills, and reinforce good behaviours.
Many soft skills including collaboration, conflict management, and even things like etiquette around the office, can be learnt through observation. Remote work can provide an added challenge in the development of these skills, as we do not have the same chances to observe more experienced colleagues in different situations in person.
The future of working from home
Working from home has made our lives easier in many ways, but we must learn to retain the ability to absorb knowledge and expertise from others – just like we would in person.
Work from home training opportunities are beneficial in many ways. Firstly, they can be done from anywhere with no travel required. This level of accessibility is empowering, and allows more individuals to invest in themselves and take ownership of their development.
Remote working is improving our proficiency around technology. It encourages independence and autonomy, and pushes people to be more proactive by seeking their own learning opportunities.
The accessibility of remote training is hugely beneficial for those who have previously not been able to access this kind of learning and development resource, such as those with disabilities and people from rural areas. Courses to work from home may also be preferable for neurodiverse people, where non-verbal communication can be challenging.
The impact of remote training
Remote training is an important part of overall workforce development, but many companies need to rethink their training and development offering in order to enrich employee’s experiences while working remotely. Here’s where work from home training can have a serious impact.
Morale and retention
There is a strong link between employee morale and the provision of training opportunities. If employees are able to apply their training to handle different or more responsible tasks, it’s likely their morale will improve. Additionally, remote training may contribute to clarity around career progression and result in increased loyalty, along with lowering company costs around hiring and re-training new employees.
Improved business performance
Organisations who invest in development of their staff will likely see a correlation between increased profit margins along with higher individual employee income. Training remote employees can be even more important, as learning and development opportunities can be a chance for people to connect and motivate each other, which often leads to improvements in personal performance and translates along the line to a positive impact on overall business results.
Regular communication is essential to help employees develop during remote working. Business leaders and managers should invest time and attention into employees, and begin to see staff that are better-equipped for their environment and more satisfied with the company itself. Teamwork has suffered due to the nature of remote working, but we need to rebuild it somehow and the impact of remote training cannot be ignored!
Remote work is here to stay!
Although we are still adapting to this new way of working we can see some clear benefits to both businesses and individual employees. Our success in this new way of work is dependent on our conscious effort to learn, develop, and improve our soft skills regardless of where we are.
Are you interested in improving your training and development offering, or completing a course yourself? Get in touch and see how we can help you navigate the challenges of remote training and adapt to new ways of working.