As remote working is likely to be the norm in the foreseeable future, organizations have to figure out the most effective and innovative ways of training, leveraging virtual labs. Here’s why.

Redefining the average workforce has been the most unexpected and enduring impact of COVID-19. For months, employees have been working in a distributed and 24/7 spectrum. What was a novel change has now turned into the ‘new normal.’ People have become comfortable with virtual conferencing, meetings, collaboration, and even water-cooler talks happening online. These changes have brought some relief to employers by bringing some sense of business continuity, operational stability, and customer delivery. It has also assured some employees of job security in these uncertain times. 

Remote Work: From Band-Aid to Strategy

Today, remote work is a must. Many critical functions and roles have moved into the virtual delivery mode. Enterprises have set up new infrastructures and created network resources to enable and set their employees up for success. 

According to a Deloitte survey, around 50 percent of people who are employed or self-employed are working from home during the crisis and the number of people working remotely is unlikely to go back to the pre-COVID-19 levels. Before the pandemic impacted the world, 25 percent of people were working from home at least once a week; and after the crisis, 34 percent believe they will work from home at least once a week. A Gartner poll showed that 48 percent of employees are likely to work at least part of the time remotely after COVID-19, whereas remote work levelled at30 percent before COVID-19.

Also Read: Virtual Labs: Making Remote Work, Work

Training in the times of remote work

Oftentimes, training is overlooked in remote working. On the one hand, continuous updates and development in existing areas are crucial to mitigate  errors and ensure resources are utilized optimally. On the other hand, new business realities and customer offerings are emerging. This change calls for training in new skills and customer experience roles. Employees also need to be trained for cross-functional knowledge and new responsibilities arising out of COVID-19. Meanwhile, enterprises are investing in apps and cloud solutions to survive the bottom-line impact of the pandemic.

But how do you make training easy, affordable, accessible, uncomplicated, and time-effective?

Virtual Labs: The Swiss Knife for Good Training

A virtual lab is the best way to give both your employees and trainers the simplicity they need in these chaotic times. Training should save valuable time and lead to results. 

Virtual labs can do many things at once including:

  • Reducing unnecessary delays, layers, and latency in communication
  • Bringing both trainers and candidates in the same realm of time and virtual space 
  • Immersing learners in an engaging environment
  • Ensuing training goals are met timely with due consideration for security
  • Reducing compliance issues as virtual labs are COVID safety-compliant 
  • Hardening the data and security aspects of the training environment 
  • Devising easy accessibility in virtual labs for workers 
  • Organizing training that is self-paced, personalized, and designed for instant feedback
  • Creating a remote work environment that is intuitive and agile for up-skilling, re-skilling, and new-skilling interventions

Hand-on virtual labs result in a training choice that is cost effective. This is what professionals and organizations need in the COVID-19 crisis.  More than 70 percent (Deloitte survey) feel they are more (if not just as efficient) when working from home. Only 1 out of 4 thinks productivity might suffer in a remote work setting. When so many employees give a thumbs-up to flexible workplace models, it is time to add more value to this shift.

The pandemic will not last but it is good for enterprises to embrace new tools and strategies that will outlive the crisis and be relevant in the future. 

Time to strengthen remote working. Time for virtual labs.