Work at home received a (mandatory) boost due to the corona crisis. And corporate training has been conducted digitally and remotely for a year now. Webinars and e-learning are here to stay, but many employees miss the chat during the coffee break.
Companies and learn entities can organize e-learning. Where everyone completes a series of lessons online at their own pace, where and when it suits. This can be done with Good Habits, myskillcamp or codelabs to give some examples. They are e-learning tools for language training and digital skills (Teams, Zoom) as well as for soft skills, such as communication skills and leadership.
The number of online training courses has risen sharply since the corona crisis. In several countries including the US, received stay-at-home orders from their government. This is when it became impossible to imagine pandemic life without Zoom.
The biggest advantage of e-learning is time savings and more freedom of choice for the students. It’s expected that digital training will not replace all physical lessons, but will remain larger than before. It’s not all rosy, there is a loss of social contact and networking during the break and after the courses. In the long term, this will affect the team spirit and how employees interact with each other.
Companies had two other major concerns: how do you guarantee that employees remain psychologically connected to the company and how do you manage people online. E-learning platforms like Good Habits saw a spike in demand for topics like this.
It doesn’t just stop with skills that are needed for managing people. Today it is possible to obtain a full business degree through online colleges or online universities. Although studying online is not always ideal, it can be convenient for the student. As previously stated, the student can take their classes from the convenience of their home. This should allow more free time.
The sudden switch to digital learning initially left many companies with a crisis. Companies suddenly had to function differently. The use of Zoom, Skype or other online meeting applications was practically new to everyone.
In the meantime, the online interaction was too much for several employees. Complaints like “I miss the interaction” are common. Some webinars offer the option of launching a small questionnaire in the meantime to see if everyone is on board. It keeps the students attentive. The lecturers can also see who has other screens open, so they know when to sharpen attention by throwing a question into the group.
There is also an emerging privacy problem. Employees or students are expected to turn on their webcam. Attendees see the home situation of people while this would not be the case otherwise. Not everyone has it equally good and wants to show how they live. Besides that, there is also the problem that they can see what you are doing on your computer. Lecturers have the ability to see if there are other screens open.
The biggest stumbling block to completely switch to online training is the disappearing social aspect, it sounds like for most companies. They miss the coffee break where a casual chat or new professional contacts often arise there.
Will the abundance of online education stay here after the corona pandemic? For many companies and especially their employees, the obstacles do not outweigh the advantages: more flexibility and time savings, no traffic jams and therefore less stress. E-learning makes employees feel more involved in lifelong learning because the threshold is lower. However, greater flexibility should not lead to non-commitment. Companies must consider a clear policy.
Online learning after corona will not replace all physical lessons, but it will remain larger than before, about 50 percent of the entire training offer.