e-learning benefits
E-learning can help remote teams utilise their flexibility by attending training sessions whenever their schedules permit. Source: Agnes Bun / AFP

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, remote working was already on the rise. Why? Organisations big and small were determined to grow a more diverse, more productive and more cost-effective workforce. Now that working from home is not just an option, but a necessity, it has become a new normal many are hoping is here to stay. As soon as the coronavirus was declared a pandemic early last year, 88% of multinational organisations began encouraging remote working. By summer 2020, 83% of businesses surveyed said they will continue to offer remote-work options long after the world returns to complete normalcy. Additionally, Gallup research conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, indicated that employees are optimally engaged when they remote work 60% to 80% of the time. That’s three or four days in a workweek.

Whether or not the future of remote work will be viewed as a public health necessity or just another effective tool, organisations will need to take the necessary steps to promote workforce productivity. Building skills is an important factor that cannot go unrecognised. In 2020, 67% of fully remote workers reported that they wanted more training, and globally, the interest in upskilling has only increased. The solution? E-learning.

E-learning benefits

E-learning benefits students. They leverage technology with videos, self-paced quizzes or simulations — where they can practice new skills pressure-free. Source: Ina Fassbender/AFP

Employers have to remember that every employee learns differently and what sets e-learning apart is its ability to cater to all learning styles. VARK is an acronym that refers to the four types of learning styles and different approaches individuals use to process information: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing Preference, and Kinesthetic.

With these different styles in mind, e-learning leverages technology with videos, self-paced quizzes, or simulations, ensuring learners are able to practice their new skills in a pressure-free environment. However, this approach does not eliminate the need for assessments. E-learners will also be able to get feedback on which areas they need to improve on as they progress through a course.

A key advantage to online learning is the accessibility it gives to remote workers who prefer being able to learn anywhere, any time, and across any device. So whether employers are planning on implementing a new policy, adopting new technology, or just looking to refresh employees’ memories on a specific topic, e-learning will allow them to save time and resources.

Furthermore, they will also be able to reach employees organisation-wide, regardless of their geographic location. There are many ways to harness e-learning benefits into company cultures as a form of training. Some ways employers can start are by:

Utilising microlearning

Research shows that microlearning – brief training modules – increases information retention by up to 20%. Whether through videos or short quizzes, implementing microlearning can be beneficial without being time-consuming, allowing remote workers to get back to their tasks as soon as they’re done.

E-learning benefits

There are many ways to harness e-learning benefits. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

Offering e-learning videos

Videos are becoming increasingly popular for training employees. Short videos followed by applicable quizzes can save time and money while also helping with knowledge retention and application.

Incorporating elements of entertainment

L&D can be dull. Incorporating entertainment or elements of friendly team-building competitions are both great ways to keep employees engaged during their training.

Keeping e-learning content consistent

E-learning is a convenient way to share information and update employees on changing policies and procedures but it needs to be consistent. The right content authoring and delivery tools will not only help organisations in providing consistent content, but will also provide this content via multiple channels.

Employers can also utilise these tools to keep track of each employees’ training and progress.

Providing content across devices

Remote workers enjoy the freedom of being able to access their work across devices, whether it be through their tablets, smartphones, or desktops.