One of the most important developments in working culture of the last few years is the way that modern technology has made it possible for people to adopt a more flexible approach to the way they work.
Organisations that previously operated according to a strictly office-based working model have now transitioned to allowing their staff to work remotely when convenient, allowing workers to remain connected even when they're at home or away on a business trip. This has not only helped companies to benefit from a happier and more productive workforce, but has also encouraged more diverse hiring policies.
However, the transition away from a single, consolidated office-based working environment has naturally created challenges when it comes to learning and development, and the provision of essential training and upskilling sessions. Fortunately, there are numerous tools that can be used to overcome these challenges, but doing so nevertheless requires planning and forethought to develop the most effective strategy.
The difficulties of providing training for a remote worker should be fairly self-evident. In an office-based environment, it's relatively straightforward to gather staff together at a specific time and location to run through a training session and collaborate with each other, but that becomes much harder to do when your workforce is spread across different locations, and potentially different timezones.
With the advent of the internet, it's become easier to send out the necessary learning and development materials to off-site workers, but even then, it's still difficult to monitor their progress and retention when they aren't physically present - not to mention the fact they are likely to miss out on the benefits of learning as part of a group.
It's because of the impact that these issues can have on a company's employee training and development strategies that modern e-learning tools have become so essential to the forward-thinking business.
By investing in a comprehensive suite of e-learning tools, organisations can ensure that all of their workers have always-on access to the same set of training resources wherever they are based, and can work through them at their own pace according to their specific schedule.
What's more, these resources can be paired with videoconferencing and real-time chat software to allow remote learners to get the benefits of a classroom-based learning session, with screen-sharing tools and collaborative documents making it possible for them to work together with colleagues and instructors just as they would with others in the same room.
A learning management system (LMS), meanwhile, can be an ideal solution for helping managers to gain better oversight of their remote workers and to ensure that the required engagement with the training material is being achieved.
With an LMS, it is possible to track the progress of each learner and keep records of their performance in a centralised location, meaning everyone can learn together at the same pace without anyone getting too far ahead or falling behind. Whereas this would once have been difficult to achieve with a geographically scattered employee base, this is increasingly no longer the case.
In an era where consistent and transparent working practices are more vital than ever to ensure constant regulatory compliance, delivering a universally effective approach to training both office-based and remote workers has never been more important - and, thanks to the latest developments in e-learning and LMS solutions, it's also never been easier.
Summary: Remote working is becoming ever more common among modern businesses, but the fact that staff are no longer based in the office creates learning and development challenges that need to be thoughtfully addressed.