As employees shifted to remote work last year, many found that it was indeed possible to collaborate and communicate via shared tools. Though the pandemic brought plenty of less-desirable life changes, it also created the opportunity to redesign work in ways that are equally accessible and supportive of employees’ development goals.
Throughout the pandemic, employee preferences on the topic of returning to the office have been a mixed bag between fully remote, partially on-site and fully in-office positions. Microsoft’s report on Remote Working and the Platform of the Future found that 35% of employees prefer fully in-office work, 18% fully remote and the remainder preferring a mix of both. And according to Gartner, 94% of organizations are allowing employees more flexibility as to where and when they work.
As the hybrid work model emerges with a partial return to the office, the emergence of hybrid teams is imminent. According to Microsoft’s recent report, onboarding and innovation are two of the biggest challenges to come with this emergence. Empowering employees with the knowledge to effectively use collaborative technology tools is essential to maintaining productivity.
Consequently, it is imperative for businesses to implement effective training programs to make sure all employees are up to date and equipped to navigate the technology that comes with hybrid teams. Organizations must integrate a training strategy that can be rolled out to employees both in-office and remotely, ensuring they can continue to collaborate and grow as a team.
Organizations are still adjusting to the shift to remote work, which was a steep learning curve with many training sessions to help them along the way. According to Microsoft’s report, more than 75% of employees feel they are prepared to use remote working tools, yet managers estimated that only 41% of their team is trained to use them.
Although the need for robust training programs is undisputable, Microsoft also found that two-thirds of companies spend less than 1,000 Euros per full-time employee on tools and training.
In order to have successful hybrid teams, organizations must extend the baseline knowledge needed to effectively use remote or hybrid work tools to all employees. To support this approach, digital learning platforms make training accessible for all employees—whether they are in the office or at home.
Using digital learning, organizations can ensure their hybrid teams are receiving the training they need to effectively use new technology, collaborate with colleagues and maintain their productivity.
A learning platform enables organizations to develop an approach to make a hybrid team environment workable. It centralizes training content to make it easy to access, track and share. It also stands as a technology investment that will serve the organization long-term via greater flexibility and resilience.
In terms of onboarding, research from Boston Consulting Group found that 51% of employees felt remote work makes it harder to maintain work culture, particularly onboarding new employees. Part of the onboarding process involves both formally and informally transmitting the organization’s work culture to the new hire – a task made more difficult when attempted in the less personal venue of a video call.
However, a learning platform that has collaborative and chat features built in goes a long way toward bridging this gap. Though more informal, in-the-moment training is less likely, leaders can strategically schedule orientation and coaching sessions as well as more culture-focused events like virtual coffee breaks and office drop-ins to ask questions or meet co-workers.
In its Leading in Learning report, Deloitte found that only 1% of an employee’s work week is spent on learning and development. Yet those same employees want training; in a LinkedIn Learning report, 94% of respondents indicated that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
Using digital learning platforms, organizations can ensure that their employees are not alone on their training journey. A modern LMS allows you to keep your in-office and at-home employees on the same page and helping each other out throughout the process of navigating the hybrid workspace.
And as we know, corporate training is not a one-time fix. New technologies are constantly emerging and being updated, and digital learning platforms cater to the long-term learner, allowing them to learn consistently and in the flow of work. In order for organizations to meet business goals and employees to achieve their potential, ongoing learning is essential.
The transition to the hybrid work model will test organizations’ ability to successfully integrate collaborative technologies once again. Adopting digital learning platforms is a key component to successful integration, allowing employees to learn how to best navigate new tools in a bite-sized and collaborative manner. The adoption of new tools and technology is a continuous phenomenon, and learning should be too. Right now, hybrid teams are the newest challenge that demands effective learning, but the need for employee training will continue as organizations continue to innovate.