Unless you’ve been living under a rock, remote training is something you will undoubtedly have heard of this year.
Article originally appeared on Edume.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic meant remote training went from a trend to a necessity after one third of the world’s population were ordered to stay home, it had been steadily gaining momentum as a trend over the last decade.
Prior to the pandemic, companies were coming to the realization that face-to-face training was no longer necessary. It wasn’t time efficient, scalable, cost effective or impactful in terms of knowledge retention.
The realization was being driven by three other factors - the growth of the millennial demographic in the workforce and their accompanying training expectations from employers, the proliferation of the smartphone, and an increasingly remote workforce. So, what is remote training? Remote training defined
Remote training (sometimes used interchangeably with ‘remote learning’, though this term is more closely tied to education) is the practice of upskilling your employees digitally, regardless of their physical location.
The benefits of remote training
More and more companies globally are seeing the remote training’s benefits. Just some of these are:
1. It’s cost effective
There are several reasons that it’s more financially viable. Firstly, you cut the cost of human labor involved in classroom-based instructor-led training.
Secondly, all remote training requires to be completed is an employee, a computer (or mobile phone), and internet access (which 4.6 billion people already have access to).
Remote training is also paperless, which eliminates the cost of printing. This may seem insignificant, but printing is a surprising hidden cost to companies - it’s estimated that up to 3% of annual revenue is spent on it.
2. It gives employees more control and flexibility
96% of people value and want flexibility in regards to work. But only 47% have it. The future of work is flexible and remote training caters to this flexibility. It is not time-dependent, so employees learn on their own terms.
Peoples’ schedules aren’t uniform - no two employees have the same commitments day-to-day. One of the biggest draws of remote training is that it enables employees to complete learning at their own pace, and around their personal schedule.
This is better adapted to peoples’ natural productivity flow. They will complete training at times optimally suited to them, as opposed to the productivity-disruption involved in pushing present tasks aside to carve out hours for formal training.
3. It can be completed anywhere
The ‘learn from anywhere’ nature of remote training is a given - it’s implicit in its name. Employees, freelancers or contractors don’t need to be tied to a physical location to complete it. This gives companies flexibility and an alternative to how to train their workforce.
Not only is this now pertinent due to Covid-19, which has forced the global workforce to go remote, but many industries, from retail, to hospitality, to logistics to on-demand (e.g. ride-hailing) are inherently remote. Their workforce has always been dispersed and deskless. Remote training breaks down geographical barriers and makes it so that you can reach anyone, anywhere.
4. It saves time
We are all familiar with the expression that time = money. Remote training saves time for both employee and employer.
For example, when a new starter joins, it is custom that they undergo an induction, usually carried out by the HR department. Let’s say you have an induction day every month for all new starters who joined that month.
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This is incredibly time consuming - not just for the HR department, but every department organizationally who delivers introductory presentations on these days. With remote training, once the material has been created, it can be rolled out infinitely thereafter. This means that the only input required is that of the initial content creation. In terms of time saved from an employee’s side, remote training means they don’t need to spent time travelling between training locations. And, as it tends to be shorter-form in nature, they spend less time on the training itself.
5. It’s environmentally friendly
In 2018, 28% of total greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation. When people receive training remotely, it is not necessary that they travel anywhere - the training meets them where they are.
Large scale telecommuting is known to reduce carbon emissions - when people are travelling less even just a few days a week it translates to a 54 million reduction in metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This is the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road for a year.
6. It’s scalable
Finally, once you’ve created your learning material, it can be recycled again and again. nstead of being tied to a physical location that requires people to travel to, you can send the onboarding course to anyone, anywhere, anytime. This favours scalability - you are able to distribute it to as many people across as many territories as needed at the click of a button. Comparatively this is little input for a maximum, repeatable output.
Remote training is not just repeatable, but predictable. The fact it’s standardized ensures quality - as everyone will be receiving the same material, you can rest assured that it will be delivered to the same standard, every time.