Will remote training be the new norm of hybrid work habits?

How will corporate and team training look like for organizations going forward?
28 April 2021

Corporate training may take place at a different realm. Source: Shutterstock

  • Remote training is bringing forward new formats on how corporates can onboard new hires and upskill employees 
  • A survey found 57% of people have participated in remote training 

Remote working has often been debated as the “new norm” or “new reality” heading into 2021. While the concept is far from new, with 61% of employees reported to have some form of remote working arrangement before the pandemic, remote working is surely gaining more traction than it has in the pre-pandemic times. 

Presently, tech titans like Google and Uber have issued edicts extending work-from-home orders until the summer of 2021. Facebook joined its fellow Silicon Valley members in letting its employees work remotely through July this year. Twitter’s CEO was one of the firsts to declare remote working as a permanent option. Gartner found that close to three in four CFOs plan to shift at least 5% of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions.

“We know two things for sure: flexible work is here to stay, and the talent landscape has fundamentally shifted. Remote work has created new job opportunities for some, offered more family time, and provided options for whether or when to commute. But there are also challenges ahead. Teams have become more siloed this year and digital exhaustion is a real and unsustainable threat,” reads Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index.

Remote working was clearly a legacy of the pandemic, and now many enterprises are easing into a transition towards hybrid working culture, where some of the time and resources might be spent at the workplace, alongside remote teams or operating in rotation with offsite staff. As such, employee training is likewise incrementally shifting from purely in-person sessions, towards online-based and mixed training formats. 

A survey by business services company Clutch revealed that 57% of corporates have participated in remote training in a professional setting. While more than half (61%) find remote training to be effective, they have pointed out the limitations of remote training and in its blog post, Clutch suggested some factors for companies to consider to improve remote training. 

One of the factors mentioned is the format of remote training. The US company listed popular remote training format to include “webinars, small-group activities, video tutorials or demonstrations, and hands-on practical training.” Remote corporate training following these formats is deviating from the usual slide show presentations and realistic role-playing exercises. 

Some key criteria in selecting remote formats include reliability, cost, and interface of the training modules. Insiders also added accommodating a variety of learning styles is essential to ensure the success of remote training and provide employees the needed resources to truly wield their skills.

Besides selecting an optimal way to deliver remote training, companies need to ensure employees are equipped with the right remote training tools to truly benefit from the sessions.

The overhaul of shifting to work from home saw millions of employees grappling to set up home offices and digital infrastructure; thus, companies selecting reliable and well-designed remote tools for new hires or existing employees to navigate during training will make a huge difference. Employees using familiar software won’t need to relearn or adapt to new tools in addition to the new training they are receiving.

Delivering remote training in the right environment with the right tools will help employees grasp learning material and content better. Clutch also highlighted the importance of choosing the relevant remote training topics that meet employee’s needs. Organizations are suggested to select the content that is “new,” “applicable,” and “teachable in a remote environment.”

Additionally, companies can explore and determine the types of corporate training topics by sifting through popular online platforms such as Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy to identify on-demand courses. companies can also carry out a survey to understand employee’s needs or seek professional corporate trainers for advice.

There are many factors to consider for corporate remote training. From the employer’s perspective, allocating a budget and selecting the most suitable content format, topics, tools is crucial.

Meanwhile, employees on the receiving end of remote training would need to learn to navigate through remote training tools. The new norm of remote corporate training will see companies identifying the most suited content and form of delivery that not only resonates with the current landscape of on-demand skills but also with employee needs.