Remote work training is becoming increasingly important for modern workforces, and more and more people are embracing the remote learning culture. Whether you’re a new hire or a manager looking to support your employees, remote learning can be successful at improving productivity and efficiency if you take the right approach.
This article will identify ways that remote learners can be successful in their remote work training and the steps organizations can take to maximize the value of training programs.
Differences between remote learning and distant learning
Knowing the difference between remote learning and distance learning is essential because employees can react differently based on the educational environment they are in.
Remote learning is a specific type of training that typically involves self-study and may include access to mentors. Even if an employee doesn’t have any face-to-face communication with their manager or mentor, they should still feel that they receive active support. Using task management applications like Trello or Asana can be a great way to give an employee the support they need on-demand, while still allowing them to operate autonomously when working remotely.
Distance learning can be an alternative, but it often lacks structure and routine since distant learning applications aren’t designed to enable on-demand support. In addition, distant learners are more likely to lose focus without providing guidance and feedback throughout the process, so organizations should think carefully about the type of educational environments they advocate for.
They should also take the time to better understand the capabilities of employees while choosing the remote learning environment that provides the most balanced return on investment.
The keys to successful remote learning
That being said, let’s see what are the keys to successful remote learning:
Set the right goals for remote learning
It’s best to set goals ahead of time to engage employees in a new remote training program. These should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) so that people know exactly what they are working towards throughout the day or week.
When it comes to remote learning, setting specific goals is especially important. This could involve things like:
- Learning a new software program;
- Completing a project by the end of the week;
- Researching best practices in your field and compiling a report.
The list goes on, but the key takeaway is that people need to be clear about what they are trying to achieve. It can be challenging to measure success or know when you’ve reached your goal without defined objectives. Additionally, by giving remote employees tangible goals to achieve during their training program, it also gives them purpose. It helps keep them focused throughout their training and set expectations for when specific skills can be acquired and the value they should bring.
Know your resources
To create a successful remote training program, organizations should have a good understanding of their available resources. This includes the tools and software available to employees and the people then can reach out for help as needed.
Tools that help facilitate organization and communication like online sticky notes, video conferencing and chat clients, and project management applications make communication easy and efficient whether workers are in the office or out of town. Additionally, social media can be an excellent resource for finding information on best practices or connecting with other professionals in your field. Finally, social bookmarking sites like Pinterest and Reddit can help employees training remotely to find relevant articles on topics of interest.
Highlighting all resources available to people before starting remote work learning is essential, especially for new hires. It reduces the risk of dissatisfaction and gives employees an idea of what support is available to them when they need it most.
Create learning routines that fit employee schedules
One of the benefits of remote work training is that you can often customize the learning experience to fit employee schedules. This means that if employees have a busy week, they can adjust their routine accordingly instead of feeling like they have to adhere to someone else’s timeline.
That said, it’s important not to let this flexibility lead to procrastination. It’s easy to get sidetracked when no physical boundaries dictate how employees should spend their time. Instead, try to create a routine that balances work and personal activities so that they can still stick to some structure.
For example, if you know that certain employees tend to be more productive in the mornings, try dedicating that time to their training. This will help them to stay focused and get more done throughout the day, allowing for a better work-life balance outside of the office. On the other side of the token, be careful not to verge into micromanaging how they work and train. Your routine for your employees should be prioritized and should be simple so they can self-direct.
Read more: 5 Tips on how to coach a hybrid workforce
Bonus: Communicate effectively
Both employers and employees must be on the same page regarding remote working and training. While this arrangement has many benefits, there can also be some challenges if communication is not practical.
This is why remote workers should be encouraged to be proactive in reaching out to their manager or supervisor when they need help or clarification on a task. Likewise, employers should take the time to check in with employees regularly and ensure that they are staying on track.
Employers should make sure that they are clear about expectations and what their employees require. This includes hours worked, deadlines, and availability for meetings or calls. In turn, employees should voice any concerns or issues as soon as possible to be resolved before they become an issue.
If you’re struggling to help your employees succeed at remote work training, likely, the problem is not with the tasks themselves but rather in how you are approaching them. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can create a plan that works for you or your employees and helps to ensure remote learning success.
Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of tech, marketing, lifestyle, and culture.