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Self-directed learning: the benefits of training remotely

14 Jul 2020 | Lesson Desk Team2 min read

Workplace flexibility has become more prominent in many industries as a result of a variety of global changes. For some, working from home (WFH) has been a normal way of life, while for others, working remotely has been a recent and sudden transition. With that, the implementation of self-directed learning and the ability to complete skills development has been found to be beneficial for both employees as well as employers.

Self-directed training is a method in which individuals take the initiative and responsibility for managing their own training progress. From the content they select to the time spent on training, learners take complete ownership of their training experience through the use of online courses, webinars and other online learning tools. Therefore, the inherent need for remote training also calls for training technologies to assist in the self-directed process.

Mobile learning (or M-learning) is one of the many ways that make remote training possible. Whether it’s reading material, podcasts or videos, mobile learning delivers training in many forms and can be accessed at the click of a button, from any location. Mobile learning offers flexibility to learners and can contribute towards knowledge retention, engagement and higher consumption of training material.

In recent years, studies have shown that individuals display an improvement in knowledge comprehension and application when they are able to control the flow of their training experience. However, finding the right balance between guidance and empowerment is key.

The role of HR and training professionals includes providing employees with the right tools, direction and training material so that employees can direct their focus towards their training progress and increase their productivity levels. When the perfect balance is achieved, the potential outcomes can range from greater retention, to more productive teams or to an increase in organisational agility, which will inevitably have a positive impact on the overall company.

Offering employees the independence and freedom to train remotely will allow for better flexibility. This means that teams can unlock the benefits of balancing and prioritising their work and training times – ultimately decreasing the chances of burnout. Additionally, this demonstrates the overall convenience of self-directed and remote training.

Apart from flexibility, HR professionals, training personnel and instructional designers have found that the implementation of training methods creates a sustainable and healthy learning culture in a variety of working industries. By giving employees the freedom to train at their own pace and at the comfort of their own homes, companies foster independent individuals who are eager to learn, motivated to excel at their work and are confident enough to seek out and develop new skills.

The remote and self-directed training experience can help in acquiring and developing thinking, research and self-management skills. These skills can then be put to practice within employees’ everyday working roles.

Remote training also benefits the company financially. Not only is the use of online training material inexpensive, but because employees can train in the comfort of their own homes, saving money on travelling costs is possible. Companies can also save money on facilitator salaries, venue hire, material printouts, as well as save time on the marking of assessments.

As more and more employees around the globe navigate towards the ‘WFH’ life, companies will need to trust and support their employees in achieving their organisational goals. With this in mind, it is also important that individuals who partake in self-directed and remote training manage distractions, apply good organisational skills and adhere to a certain level of responsibility.

To get your employees training remotely, contact Lesson Desk at learn@lessondesk.com or visit www.lessondesk.com for more information.