Your Company Needs Remote Work Training: Do You Build Internally or Hire Experts?
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Imagine this scenario: your CEO announces in a major media outlet that your 10,000+ workforce will shift to flexible work for the foreseeable future. That’s the situation many companies are facing as CEOs are asked to predict when offices will reopen and what the workforce will look like. But these announcements, be they public or internal, usually leave more questions than answers. Who will be in the office and who will be remote? What type of infrastructure will be in place to support remote team members? How will leaders prepare to manage essentially two groups of employees?
One truth remains—your teams will need guidance throughout the months and years to come. They will need support to ensure:
- Leaders adapt their styles to accommodate a working future that includes remote work.
- Workers are empowered to work autonomously, collaborate asynchronously, and solve problems remotely.
- Career opportunities don’t become stagnant based upon work location.
How do you decide whether to build remote team training internally, outsource to an experienced remote work training supplier, or blend the two? Read through the criteria for both scenarios to determine which best fits your current and future objectives.
Criteria for Building Remote Team Training Internally
Internally developing remote skills training for your company is best when you have established norms and policies to work with, such as:
- You have an existing clear and aligned remote work policy. A fully functional remote, hybrid, or flexible work policy should include clear expectations of what remote looks like in your organization. These expectations serve as the foundation for any training you deliver.
- You have an established Learning & Development (L&D) function. While you don’t necessarily have to have an entire L&D team, you do need to have an established L&D function within your organization, meaning you need individuals who own L&D decisions and dedicated resources for designing, developing, delivering, and maintaining internal training.
- You have access to internal expertise. Employees that are extremely skilled and knowledgeable about remote proven practices can serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to support your learning experience design team in developing remote-specific training. These SMEs need to have a broad range of experience in remote and hybrid teams, and they need to have the time to dedicate to supporting the development of new learning experiences. Creating the time means taking other work projects off their plates.
- Your company has established remote work as a strategic priority and rescoped roles and budget to support it. No matter how you decide to upskill your employees with effective remote competencies, you are going to need a budget. With an internal approach, you are also going to need a dedicated change management team and at least one leader responsible for owning decisions related to remote work—some organizations refer to this position as Head or Director of Remote or Hybrid work. These leaders will need to spend time researching and benchmarking the policies and practices that have proven successful for other companies. Task forces will then need to develop fresh learning experiences to prepare their workforce for a remote work future. The Workplaceless Remote Work Training Report can provide you with insights on what you should prioritize.
- You have plenty of time. If you don’t plan on delivering training anytime soon, you can spend time developing a comprehensive remote work training program. However, the more time you spend developing is less time your team members are achieving their fullest potential in a remote or hybrid environment.
Criteria for Outsourcing to an Experienced Remote Work Training Supplier
Working or partnering with an experienced remote work training vendor is ideal when your internal resources or expertise is limited, such as:
- Executives and leadership have not fully adopted a placeless mindset. A placeless mindset, requires innate trust in your employees to get work done no matter their work location. It’s a mindset that’s completely removed from hours worked and always being physically available. If all levels of your executive and leadership teams do not yet have a remote-first mindset, you will need a third-party supplier to provide evidence of both the need to adopt a remote-first mindset, and also the resources and steps required to achieve one. To determine if your leadership team has the mindset to enable successful remote work, we offer a complimentary Remote Effectiveness Assessment.
- Your teams weren’t working remotely before the pandemic. Our Workplaceless team will continue to shout this from the rooftops: forced working from home due to a global pandemic is not the same as strategic and sustainable remote work. If your team’s only experience with remote work is during the pandemic, you need to face the reality that you have not fully established the proven practices needed to be successful at long-term remote or hybrid work. Whether you are bringing employees back into an office part-time or embracing a fully remote infrastructure, you are encountering a new era of remote work for your organization.
- You need effective training now. If you’re already seeing symptoms of unprepared remote employees and managers, you need training right away. Investing in resources like training is a powerful signal to employees that your organization is committed to providing the support they need. Working with a vendor who already has created proven content, using best in class learning techniques, can save significant development time and increase speed to implementation.
- You have a learning management system and L&D function, but not remote work skills content. If you have a team dedicated to L&D, hopefully your L&D team is integrated into the mission and vision for the organization and can best establish a roadmap for remote work training. In this scenario your L&D team can leverage existing processes for rollout, but outsource the proven skills content, for example via scalable learning programs like Workplaceless or Leadplaceless.
If your organization meets any of the criteria in the outsourcing category, Workplaceless is ready to be your guide. As always, our goal is to help companies and teams succeed with long-term remote and hybrid structures. Let’s schedule a time to discuss how our training solutions can help your team.
Tammy Bjelland, CEO at Workplaceless
Having worked remotely since 2011, Bjelland founded Workplaceless in 2017 after recognizing the need for remote-specific professional development opportunities. With her background in higher education, publishing, edtech, eLearning, and corporate training, she is committed to driving and supporting the future of work by developing people.
Follow her on LinkedIn.