We are facing a future of remote work. With everything that’s happened in recent history, those of us working in HR have definitely gotten a taste of remote work by now, either through carrying out our own responsibilities at home or by assisting our employees in navigating their roles remotely. Most of us have had to navigate things from both sides. As a result, organizations have not only found that remote work isn’t as challenging as many originally feared, but they’ve also had the chance to learn how helpful offering remote or hybrid work opportunities as a benefit can be to recruiting and retention efforts.
According to data from a 2022 survey, 99 percent of people would choose to work remotely for the rest of their career, even if it were just part-time. Many people report increased productivity, better financial health due to reduced commuting expenses and stronger work-life balance that allows them to show up more fully for their families as well as their employers. Furthermore, professional development cannot be expected in-person when industry standards shift to remote work. Employees will simply seek employment options that do offer better remote work options.
The Importance of Remote Professional Development
Professional development includes any courses, training, educational initiatives, or growth endeavors that help an employee learn and remain competitive in their industry. When employees are working remotely, it can be easy to overlook opportunities for professional development. However, your at-home employees still need to feel like they’re continuing to grow and be challenged in their roles. This helps keep them engaged and productive when it comes to their daily responsibilities. In fact, 74 percent of employees actively want to learn new skills while on the job, and 70 percent of employees say they would leave their current job for a position that would more actively invest in their learning and development on the job.
5 Reasons eLearning is the Future of Remote Professional Development
While it may be difficult to come up with plans to engage your remote employees with professional development opportunities, it’s actually easier now than ever before with the growth of the eLearning industry. 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were using eLearning in 2018, and now that eLearning is even more globally accessible, it’s safe to say that eLearning platforms have grown from trendy to ubiquitous. Here are some of the reasons why the future of remote work involves professional development via eLearning:
- Personalized Learning
Personalized learning offers structured learning environments that are tailored to unique learners’ needs, skills, and interests. This helps individuals to master concepts and skills in a way that makes sense to them. They can choose from various methods of learning, depending on what will keep them most engaged.
Personalization can also mean that you get to apply your own spin to content that benefits your company directly. While you certainly want to train your employees on top industry skills, you likely want to make that as directly applicable to your organization as possible. A strong eLearning platform can help you deliver the most important information for your specific employees and your direct business needs.
2. Ease of access to educational or training material
Think back to the last time you had to attend an in-person educational event or conference. The costs associated with travel, time spent commuting, and energy spent networking are all demanding. Many individuals do not find this process appealing and will attend simply because they are required to do so. This doesn’t generally help them feel as if they are working towards goals that matter to them—instead, they are more likely to feel that they are just going through the motions as required to keep their job. In this case, an under-engaged employee may not retain the important information you intended for them to learn.
Generally, online learning can be conducted asynchronously, meaning that individuals can learn at their own natural pace. 58 percent of employers allow their employees to engage with learning materials at their own pace via on-demand learning. Since everyone learns differently and can handle different amounts of information at a time, this is a great way to improve retention of information.
With trends such as the gamification of online learning, there is no shortage of ways in which your organization can make professional development more interesting, fulfilling, and fun. If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that things can change rapidly in any industry, at any time. Customizable web-based learning allows you to remain agile and adaptable when you need to get important information out or train new skills in employees quickly.
5. Courses can be taken anywhere, any time
Using online learning to deliver educational content means that your employees can stay focused on their professional goals from anywhere in the world. This allows you to build further flexibility into how your employees work. Even if you are only able to offer your employees a hybrid schedule that requires them to sometimes be in the office, you could designate learning days as work from home days. This helps your employees to feel empowered and balanced, knowing that they can make the choices that are best for them around how they work and what they accomplish in their professional lives.
The American Psychological Association cites the following benefits to remote learning, and this can be directly applicable to the way your employees learn job-related skills:
- Promotes and prioritizes mental health – mental wellness is crucial to the retention of new information
- Autonomy is a motivating factor in the learning process – giving learners more choice over how, when, and where they learn leads to stronger motivation
- Learning is better suited to individual needs – do you tend to zone out more while sitting at a desk? Maybe you tend to feel better and focus for longer amounts of time while working on your porch, getting some sunshine.
- More opportunities for neurodiverse workers – some of us can’t sit still and absorb large lessons. If we can work in a familiar environment, such as in our homes, we will be more likely to retain abstract concepts.
KnowledgeCity: Your eLearning Solution
Let’s face it, your approach to professional development for your remote workers needs to be regularly and routinely updated in order to retain strong talent. Now is a great time as our economy and businesses are recovering from recent years of flux. Employees are exploring new job options at higher rates lately, and your company is poised to attract outstanding job-seekers if you can display your commitment to remote work and professional development. KnowledgeCity offers an online learning platform of 20,000+ courses, including business courses, computer courses, safety and compliance courses, finance courses, and certification programs. Our strongest tool is our customizable LMS that can answer any business’s training needs.