Back To Office Or Work From Home: Is Your L&D Program Ready For Both?


For employees across the world, one of the most common dilemmas they have faced recently is to go or not to go back to the workplace. As organizations are opening up offices, many are asking their people if they would prefer working from home or in the office.

And, more often than not, many are choosing what seems like the most flexible option: hybrid!

With the choice of getting an experience of the best of both work environments -- work-from-home and in-office -- hybrid workplace is proving good for business. Recent studies have shown that this model is contributing towards boosting revenue and productivity. However, it is also giving rise to newer challenges for L&D and HR teams in terms of learning for the workforce.

The need is for the right strategies that can lead to effective training and development, providing employees with a great learner experience. Let’s consider some strategies that can be leveraged by companies to deliver learning and development for hybrid work.

Personalizing Content for Learner

One of the first steps towards creating learning for a hybrid is to personalize content for remote versus employees working from the office. With tailored training, you can help each set of employee understand the nuances of their roles better. For instance, training for remote workers may include content woven around how to offer good quality online customer service. Similarly, training and development on workplace fire safety might be relevant only for in-office employees.

Either way, the key to good learning is always to adapt content in a way that everyone gets relevant and meaningful training by deciding whether some courses have to be limited to only one group since they are not applicable to the others.

Advanced technologies like AI and ML have made offering a personalized learning experience to learners a little easier. In fact, personalized learning is now a basic requirement for modern learners considering everything around them is offering personalized results: from shopping to movies to food recommendations. An AI-powered LMS can help learners browse through topics and courses that are exclusively tailored for their interests, behaviors, and goals.

Incorporating Learning in The Flow of Work

A LinkedIn study that asked 4,000 plus L&D professionals about how their training programs could be improved found that a major issue was a lack of time among employees. It is this issue that often affects L&D programs. In the absence of time to dedicate to learning, learners face unnecessary stress and, in turn, develop bitterness toward learning programs.

A solution to this is to weave learning into the flow of work in order to consistently engage and motivate employees in their development. The idea is to create a culture that supports and encourages continuous learning within the work hours instead of creating modules that require separate time commitments from employees.

After all, training shouldn’t be the end for employees; it should be the means to a valuable learning experience. In pursuance of this goal, it is better to make training on-demand, accessible and relevant.

Using Multi Media to Engage Learners

One way of improving engagement and creating memorable learning experiences is to capture learners’ attention and encourage them to come back for more.

Learner engagement is critical for the success of any learning initiative and L&D has to put in its best by offering an eclectic mix of engaging learn tech through live, interactive sessions combined with pre-recorded ones, in-classroom training integrated with remote ones, live lectures, quizzes, group assignments, on-demand videos, presentations, etc.

While videos are not new in L&D, it is now clear that shorter videos are far more effective than longer ones. Especially considering the challenges and distractions of a hybrid work environment, it is good to offer videos that are under a minute for learners whose attention spans are shorter.

Gamifying Learning Content

Another way of making learning interesting is by incorporating gamification in the L&D modules. This too is hardly a new concept, but its uptake has increased in the pandemic. By providing achievement badges and certificates that can be shared on platforms like LinkedIn, gamification spikes employee motivation levels since they get recognized publicly.

In a hybrid work environment, gamification can take employee engagement levels to a new high by converting dull and tedious training content into engaging learning through friendly competition among colleagues. Besides, it also makes onboarding a fun experience by rewarding the new joinees for their progress and motivating them through a certificate on successful onboarding.

In Conclusion

The hybrid form of working definitely calls for more flexibility and agility in L&D initiatives to address all the challenges that come with it. So, when you are checking with people if they want to come back to office or continue working from home, you also need to find the answer to another very pertinent question: is your L&D all set to cater to a hybrid workforce?