April 29, 2020
Having a predominant distributed workforce for a business is no longer a distant reality, but an ongoing trend of present times. As opposed to a decade or two before, when the number of dispersed employees in a traditional business was largely limited to Sales personnel, the trend of remote working has slowly and steadily gained traction, largely due to the availability of advanced technology as well as the shifting mindsets of the modern employees.
With global organizations increasingly moving their IT and processes to the cloud, it only makes sense for the employees themselves to adopt a similar transition and become the ‘human cloud’. Analyzing some of the recent tech trends will reveal that online tools and enterprise solutions are slowly evolving to complement the remote workforce. And, coupled with the emergence of 5G and VR, the distributed workforce has the best of technology to be connected, irrespective of their geographical location.
Likewise, in order to retain top talent, employers now have to pay serious attention to the increasing demand from employees for work flexibility and the option to create a sustainable lifestyle that’s more than a commute to and from the workplace. And, with talented candidates seeking out organizations that are future-looking, at least enough to offer remote working options, it’s high time for organizations to rethink the traditional work environment or ditch it altogether to leverage remote working.
If statistics suggest anything, it’s that businesses are in dire need of embracing the rapidly changing talent landscape. Trends like remote work, distributed workforce and on-demand talent are fast becoming the new best practices, simply because today talent reigns supreme. By treating talent and employees as customers, businesses stand to gain deeper insights into consumer behavior. And, many businesses are in favor of this shifting trend for obvious reasons.
However, remote work poses its own set of challenges. While technology can defuse some of the immediate and surface-level obstacles of communication and team work, the deeper issues of productivity-loss and business impact need a robust solution, one that is sustainable in the long-term.
Moreover, to leverage today’s intuitive tools and technologies that support the distributed workforce businesses need employees who are tech savvy and digital literates, be it in any function or domain. And, the demand for proactive, self-dependent and agile employees is rapidly permeating the remote work environment, which calls for rapid reskilling and upskilling of existing as well as future employees.
Today, the ever widening skills gap across global industries is most certainly the most urgent challenge facing businesses. Technological advancements have suddenly given the impetus on digital literacy, making technical, digital and IT skills one of the most in-demand skills in the world; this on the back of an unemployment rate that is the lowest in 5 decades.
With 39% L&D leaders citing that existing jobs are constantly being transformed by automation and AI technology, L&D leaders need to be not only aware of skills gaps but also start tackling these reskilling challenges. Employees, on the other hand, are slowly settling into the disruptive nature of work tech, with more and more employees viewing automation, AI and other disruptive technologies as a welcome change and leverage the training programs offered by their organizations to fulfill new roles.
Distilling the multiple reports doing the trade rounds, it is clearly evident that the most critical issue for businesses today is ensuring continued growth in the face of changing trends and constant disruptions. And, this calls for the continuous reskilling and upskilling of the workforce. And, given that we are slowly moving towards a remote work environment, it is critical for businesses to provide skilling opportunities to their distributed workforce, easily and effectively. As a result, in light of the dire need for reskilling, organizations are now prioritizing L&D investments, with 35% L&D teams witnessing a rise in budgets in 2019.
However, to address the skills gap and transform the skill development ecosystem to accommodate the industry demands, organizations must define and adopt efficient, scalable and sustainable employee skilling programs. Learning technology solutions and eLearning programs will continue to bring key advantages to the corporate sector, including Mobile Learning (anytime-anywhere learning, on-the-go learning etc.), multi-lingual support, virtual class rooms, blended learning and social learning to name a few. And, with the availability of online learning libraries, organizations can offer limitless number of learning resources to their distributed workforce.
Furthermore, one of the most advantageous aspects of modern day learn-tech tools for businesses is their ability to provide individuals placed in remote locations the access to world-class learning resources, at affordable prices. By streamlining the skilling process with off-the-shelf learning content, the distributed workforce will have more odds of success in today’s competitive business environment, and a new-age content library can help you effectively train your distributed workforce by addressing multiple skilling challenges across the board.
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