Working remotely is becoming more popular in Australia and according to a recent study, 70% of Australians work remotely each week. As much as 50% of them work remotely for at least half the week, while more than two-thirds work outside the office at least once a week.
Damien Sheehan, head of IWG Australia and New Zealand, attributes this trend to globalization and technological advancement. “Businesses are waking up to the strategic and financial benefits that flexible office space can provide,” Sheehan explains. Among other things, remote work "reduces commuting time, but enhances productivity, staff retention, job satisfaction, and even creativity.”
Given the popularity of working remotely, businesses that offer it must be able to offer a Learning Management System (LMS) appropriate to a remote workforce. As explained previously, an LMS optimizes training-related resources via a single eLearning resource. According to the Hudson Institute, this “reduces the average time spent training by 40%.”
So, here are four useful tips on how you can tailor your LMS for remote workers:
1. Use A Cloud-Based Training Module
Storing your LMS in the cloud allows for easier scaling, especially for an expanding remote workforce. When you host your LMS online, it will appear the same to everyone, whether they are in Melbourne, Sydney or anywhere else in the world.
Cloud-based hosting also means employees can access learning materials at any time using any of their preferred mobile devices. Not to mention, utilizing the cloud brings better returns on investment in the long-term. Cloud-based LMS is easier to reuse, and upgrades are often already included in service packages.
Australian company Appen, for instance, offers remote work worldwide in transcription, translation, marketing, financing, linguistics, and even sales.
Saving an LMS for each job description in the cloud, therefore, makes sense in this setup, as it will allow remote translators in different countries to access the same learning materials from their own preferred devices.
2. Integrate Gamification
Engagement is critical in learning, and you can enhance it through gamification.
A review conducted by the University of South Australia concluded that gamification “positively impacts engagement and downstream behaviors (e.g., health behaviors and academic performance), especially in the short term.”
A key feature in gamification in this regard is the installation of leaderboards that incentivize exceptional performance. The key is to integrate mechanisms that will reward top performers, activities that will promote healthy competition, and tasks that will require collaboration.
3. Cut Down Training Into Bite-Sized Chunks
Part of the perks of working remotely is flexibility. You must also then give your remote workers flexibility in learning.
Training Magazine notes in ‘Effectively Using an LMS for Employee Training and Onboarding' that remote workers have regular tasks, too; as such, forcing them into long learning sessions can be counterintuitive. So, repurpose learning into bite-sized pieces — a five-minute video demo, for instance, or a three-minute read on how to do a task correctly. By doing this, your remote workers will be able to fit all their learning sessions into their schedules.
More importantly, they will be able to digest lessons easier. This is especially true for mobile workers whose jobs entail moving from place to place, like ridesharing drivers and remote field workers. Time is of paramount importance to these employees. They most likely can’t afford to sit around in front of their laptops or tablets for more than 30 minutes to review a lesson.
4. Monitoring and Follow Through
Remote work entails monitoring, and this means utilizing software that will scrutinize actual performance, as indicated in job descriptions, and with respect to the learning goals specified in the LMS.
Telematics software is now being installed in vehicles manned by ride-sharing drivers. In this regard, an article by Verizon Connect notes how historical work performance is analyzed to help optimize operations and discover new opportunities to fine-tune tomorrow’s plan.
Other companies, like MTB Direct, use similar platforms, with Grow Wire reporting how Australia’s premier online retailer for anything mountain bike-related uses the work management platform Asana. It helps them track performance, organize workflow, and keep remote workers up to speed with projects and tasks.
Similar software solutions popular in Australia include Teramind, VeriClock, and ActivTrak.
A key consideration here is compatibility, to make sure that your platform can accommodate the LMS. That, in effect, makes the platform all-inclusive, much to the benefit of your remote workforce.
In essence, while offering remote work can be tricky, as you sacrifice a semblance of control, especially in teaching important job-related aspects and monitoring performance, a well-designed LMS takes care of that and allows your employees to be more efficient and learn more effectively.
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