Remote Work

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Work

Many companies have now transitioned to a distributed workforce which has required them to permanently adopt productivity tools to support that model.

If your experience as an HR Leader over the past three years has been anything like mine, you have navigated a massive transformation in the way your company thinks about work AND your approach to the future of work. Reflecting on the tremendous challenges we overcame in such a brief period; I know that we continue to face many of the same challenges in different settings. For example, professional development continues to be a crucial component in the success of all businesses, and today’s training needs are being driven by different factors.  

At the onset of the pandemic, businesses had to make a sudden and complete transition to remote work in a matter of days or weeks. We saw firsthand how our clients were forced to adopt technologies to facilitate that transition without regard for the impact it would have on overall productivity. Teams may have experienced limited capacity to take advantage of those technologies to collaborate, communicate and work effectively. The immediate need for training shifted from role-based development to tool-based development. Companies needed to quickly train their teams to utilize tools to perform tasks remotely that they were used to executing in person. 

Many companies have now transitioned to a distributed workforce which has required them to permanently adopt productivity tools to support that model. Therefore, professional development needs today are a combination of role-based AND tool-based. The shift we have seen is to predominantly skills-focused training. Companies will need to view work skills as the foundational component of any training program. To create this versatile team in the future, it is necessary to provide role-specific training and include ways to collaborate and interact daily with team members across distributed teams. 

Companies now must consider incorporating training in the technologies they have implemented to facilitate work when determining the appropriate blend of future training and education requirements. Workforce assessments can give companies insight into existing gaps in technology skills. Microlearning opportunities providing employees with on-demand access to guidance on task completion can reduce the need for access to skilled IT professionals for basic tech assistance. Sharing positive training experiences throughout the company helps demystify training requirements for entire departments. 

As we continue to navigate the evolving world of work, let us keep in mind that we are only a little over two years into this transformative experiment.  Most importantly, it is crucial that we extend support, guidance, and empathy to those who may be facing challenges in adapting to these changes. 

How has the pandemic impacted professional development needs?

The sudden shift to remote work highlighted the need for tool-based training alongside traditional role-based development. Companies had to equip employees with the skills to utilize new technologies effectively for remote collaboration, communication, and task completion.

What are the key factors driving training needs today?

Today's training needs are primarily driven by the transition to distributed workforces and the permanent adoption of various productivity tools. Companies require a blend of role-specific training and skills-focused learning to create versatile teams capable of collaborating and interacting effectively across locations.


How can companies identify skill gaps in their workforce?

Workforce assessments can provide valuable insights into existing gaps in technology skills. By identifying these gaps, companies can tailor training programs to address specific needs and improve overall productivity.


How can companies reduce reliance on IT support resources?

Microlearning opportunities, such as on-demand access to task completion guidance, can empower employees to solve basic technical issues independently, minimizing the need for continual assistance from IT support professionals.


How can companies encourage participation in training programs?

Sharing positive training experiences throughout the organization can help demystify training requirements and encourage participation from all departments. This fosters a positive learning culture and promotes employee engagement.

What are some additional resources available to support professional development?

Many organizations, including IT consulting firms, offer comprehensive training programs on various topics relevant to today's workforce, including cloud services, cybersecurity, network security, and more. Additionally, managed IT services providers can assist with the implementation and ongoing management of technology solutions, allowing your team to focus on core business activities while maintaining a strong learning environment.

What should HR leaders keep in mind as they navigate the evolving world of work?

It's crucial to remember that we are still adapting to this ongoing transformation. As HR leaders, we must prioritize providing empathy, support, and guidance to employees who may struggle with these changes. By fostering a supportive and adaptable learning culture, we can empower our teams to thrive in the ever-evolving work landscape.

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