Last updated: 17.12.13

Virtual meetings and online learning praised by experts

Video conferences and online lectures are effective means of employee training and development, audience members at the Associations Congress in London have been informed.According to experts speaking at the event, digital tools like webinars and live streaming offer workers a convenient way of accessing the information they need to thrive in their role.Wendy Holloway, operations manager for the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said the video content launched by her organisation has had a number of benefits for members.While 80 per cent of her trainees identified the technology as main resource they want to use when they sign up, "we have found over the last two or three years that web lectures and online learning has become the second most important membership delivery," she explained.This is likely to be because e-learning is a much more engaging way to train, and offers both employers and staff the flexibility to manage and study at their own pace.It can be disheartening for workers when they aren't able to attend a meeting they believe will improve their company performance, so recording and uploading these lectures online can really boost morale and prevent people from feeling excluded.Kate Bond, services executive for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, also spoke at the event and pointed out that online offerings are handy for those who do not live close to major UK cities where conferences are most likely to be held.Regarding the webinars her firm organises for its employees, Ms Bond said each session can see up to 300 people watch remotely."Members say 'we love this facility because we are able to get this information from you without taking time out from our day to do so'," she remarked.The Associations Congress talk comes after a recent study conducted by Opinion Matters for ADP revealed that one in five employees have managed to achieve a better work-life balance thanks to technology that allows them to work remotely.