One of the most significant and defining business trends over the past ten years has been the increase in remote workforces. Even before COVID-19, many companies were seeing the benefit of offering their employees the opportunity to work from home. Among these benefits is the ability to cut costs due to a decreased need for office space and an enhanced opportunity to attract top-level talent that prefers a home-based work environment to an office. Interestingly, of those employees who were forced to work from home due to COVID-19, as many as one in six is expected to continue to work from home, even after the pandemic ends.
Remote Workforce Challenges Businesses are Facing
While remote work is proving to bring many benefits, it can present a number of concerns for both managers and their employees. Some of the most common challenges include:
Monitoring Employee Productivity
In managing a remote workforce, you lose the opportunity to walk the office and check up on your workers. In fact, for many new remote managers, losing that ability for frequent, in-person interaction can make it seem like you are not managing your team at all.
Creating an Efficient Method for Collaboration
While the cloud does provide a variety of technology choices for the facilitation of remote worker communication, it can be difficult for a team to agree on any single platform to support effective collaboration. But given the distance between your employees, it is important to agree on messaging formats and technologies that will foster the power that real collaboration brings.
For companies that have employees spread out across different time zones, coordinating times to speak can create challenges. And providing updates regarding important changes can be communicated too late. In addition, there is not a set schedule from which remote employees can work.
Onboarding and Training Challenges
Having a remote workforce increases the already challenging task of onboarding new hires and making sure they have all of the information and training they need to succeed at the company and within their role.
eLearning for Remote Workforce Management
As workforces have become more remote, human resources executives and learning managers are increasingly moving from traditional, classroom-based employee training to online learning programs, also known as “eLearning”. eLearning refers to the use of cloud-based technologies for any type of online learning program, including workforce development and employee training. eLearning provides a cost-effective alternative to classroom-based training and offers the convenience and flexibility needed to support remote workers.
While a workforce eLearning program can impact almost any area of your organization, some of the most common use cases include:
New hire orientation and onboarding
“Hard” and “soft” skills development
Compliance awareness and training
Sales and customer service training
Workplace diversity training
Learning Management Systems as Remote Workforce Management Software
The core technology that supports eLearning is a Learning Management System, or “LMS”. An LMS is the application that is used to build, deliver, and track an eLearning based workforce training program and it is offered with several delivery options.
Cloud-Based v. On-Premises
While some companies decide to deploy their LMS on-premises (self-hosted), they tend to be larger organizations that have the financial and labor resources to “stand up” their own system. Today, it is increasingly more common for companies to opt for a cloud-based LMS offered by a third-party vendor. This approach eliminates the need for a large, up-front capital investment and provides easy scalability options. It also shifts the responsibility of the ongoing management and maintenance of the system to the cloud LMS vendor.
Multi-Tenant v. Single Tenant
A relatively new LMS deployment option is in the use of a multi-tenant architecture. While a single tenant LMS dedicates the entirety of the software and hardware for use by a single audience, a multi-tenant LMS allows you to “spin up” new, customized instances of the application to support varied and unique learning audiences.
LMS Portals: eLearning for Remote Workforce Management Software
LMS Portals provides a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows our clients and partners to launch and manage multiple private eLearning environments (portals) to support any number of unique learning audiences. And each portal you launch can have its own unique branding, user onboarding system, messaging and collaboration tools, analytics engine, and more.