In Person vs Remote Training

The world has changed in the last 24 months, affecting every aspect of life – from our day-to-day chores, our social lives and, of course, how we work. We went from a slow move to the online world to entirely depending on it. Like companies all over the world, Optimum adapted our work practices so we could continue providing excellent training and implementation projects throughout the pandemic.

As the face-to-face meeting becomes a more frequent occurrence, see below some quick observations about the argument of in-person vs remote training.

Want to know more? Keep reading!

There’s no denying that the last 24 months have taken a lot of getting used to. Our transition to the online world felt fairly rapid up until early 2020 when we got a stern wake up call. Our reliance on the online world came fully to light as companies around the world worked as hard as possible to provide their employees with the capability to continue working throughout the pandemic from the safe space of home.

As the world slowly gets back to normal, is remote learning or training something that should remain in 2022 along with banana bread baking fads and the home gym equipment (which, honestly have just become dust collectors)?

In Optimum’s opinion, it’s not quite time to log off Teams just yet.

As soon as it was deemed safe, people started returning to offices around the world. This then prompted the LinkedIn polls you’ve likely seen over the last few months. You know the ones I’m talking about; click like for 100% WFH, love for 50% office/50% WFH or celebrate for 100% office. They’ve provided an insight into the expectations of the global workforce, and it looks like there is an appetite for at least some remote working.

It’s impossible to deny that we are a social species, there aren’t many people who can work completely in isolation. For those who are hoping for a hybrid working pattern, they are looking to fulfil their social requirements whilst also taking advantage of important face-to-face collaborative time.

In this new world of working, where does third party training fall? Is it scheduled when everyone is in the office? Taking up some of that much needed collaborative work time? By insisting that training sessions be delivered in-person you could be setting your company up for a project that is much harder to plan and could ultimately take longer to reach the finish line. Below I’ve detailed out some of the benefits of remote training and why it shouldn’t necessarily be the unwanted backup to in-person sessions.

Remote training sessions can lead to cost savings for the entire project. In the past, the cost of having a consultant travel to your office needed to be covered – the mileage to get there, hotel stays for more than one day’s delivery and of course the associated subsistence costs. Remote sessions get rid of all those costs.

The project itself can also be delivered quicker as scheduling becomes easier – there’s no need for everyone to be in the same room so if you’re offering flexible working, attendees working from home that day can still attend. The longer a project continues, the more resource needs to be dedicated to the project and therefore the associated cost is likely to increase.

At Optimum, we record all our online sessions with clients and share them afterwards. That can be an extremely useful resource when it comes to the testing phase of the project. The majority of the time the questions we get asked would be simple ones, where the answer is escaping you in the moment. Instead of having to reach out with questions, the first port of call could be to consult the recording where most answers would be found. Of course, we still encourage our clients to reach out to us with any questions they have but at least there’s the option of finding that answer yourself.

We recently conducted a couple of polls on LinkedIn to see what our followers thought of the choice between in-person vs remote training sessions. The first poll was to get initial thoughts when the question was asked simply. The response showed that 45% of poll takers still preferred in-person sessions.

Our second poll asked the same question, but this time we added in a section on the benefits of remote training. We then asked if the poll taker had always preferred remote training, had initially preferred in-person but had since changed their mind or still preferred in-person. 14% still kept their preference for in-person but 14% reconsidered upon hearing the benefits that remote training could bring.

I wanted to reference an online survey undertaken by the website Small Business Trends, where they surveyed almost 900 working Americans (including employees and managers) to get an understanding of the thoughts on remote training. The results found that of those surveyed, 67% said that in-person training was more successful. The interesting thing about this survey is that they didn’t just gauge success, but also enjoyment and satisfaction. 62% of those surveyed said that in-person training was more enjoyable, while 56% think that in-person training is more satisfactory than remote training.

These alternative views on in-person vs remote training suggest that there is perhaps a formula to getting remote training right, and once that is achieved then remote training may be a more commonly accepted method for delivery.

To those who think there is no comparison to in-person training I’ll just say this: you haven’t had the experience of a remotely delivered Optimum project. We aim for excellence in our deliverables and strive to include the personal touch, even if it is virtual! 

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, we’d love to hear if you have any feedback on this topic.


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