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What Does Remote Learning Mean For The Future Of The Workforce?

The pandemic may have necessitated remote learning, but it didn’t create the concept of online education. For years, schools and colleges have tinkered with training cohorts of students virtually.

The world has been moving toward remote learning models for a while. All the Covid-19 shutdowns simply accelerated the process. Certainly, the mass move to online teaching didn’t work perfectly. Yet many experts believe it’s good for the future, especially the future of work.

Currently, millions of professionals work remotely at least some of the time. The average length most people spend in one position is around four years. When they leave, new workers will have to fit right into their roles. What better way to prepare them than by giving them a remote education, at least partially?

This isn’t to suggest that in-person learning doesn’t have its benefits. It does. However, employees who have experienced remote learning will bring several advantages to their employers.

1. New hires will be more familiar with technology.

Members of Generation Z are already considered “tech natives.” Despite this, young people may not understand all the business technologies before they get into the workforce unless they’ve learned remotely.

Make no mistake: Digital literacy is essential for the modern worker. And results from a 2021 K-12 focused study by Instructure, the maker of online learning management platform Canvas, show that educators agree. Instructure’s researchers found that eight out of 10 teachers believe tech has become increasingly important for all-around learning.

Students who have been through remote learning programs should be able to transfer their skills nicely on the job. This allows them to get up to speed quickly and snag lucrative telecommuting positions. Plus, they’ll already know at least a modicum of Zoom etiquette.

2. New hires will bring a sense of independence and confidence to their positions.

New employees often have to learn quickly on their own. Even if their employers provide robust training, the training can’t cover every possibility. Consequently, many workers have to seek out information on their own.

Students who have gone through remote learning understand how to fend for themselves. They have learned to Google the right way. They aren’t afraid to ask questions. And these softer skills can give them a serious boost

Soft skills are often harder for a company to teach, making them more valuable for job seekers.

3. New hires will be in a position to ‘mentor up.’

Upskilling isn’t limited to those on the first or second rung of the corporate ladder. Any professional can learn along the way, including those in managerial and executive positions. Ironically, younger employees fresh out of remote learning environments may serve to help their seasoned counterparts upskill.

For instance, new hires may be able to create and moderate online training sessions for peers. They may also bring more ideas to the table in terms of elevating the entire workforce’s comfort around digitization.

This is a form of what has been referred to as ‘managing up.’ However, it can be done transparently in any organization. The goal is for former remote learners to leverage their unique backgrounds to elevate the entire team’s collective knowledge.

Many people didn’t think it was possible for whole schools to move online—until they did. Remote learning among teens and college students hasn’t been perfected yet. Nonetheless, it’s poised to make a positive impact on the work world of the future.

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