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Please note this article was originally published by our team on elearningindustry.com.
Mobile learning, or mLearning, is a broad term used to describe any training that is completed on a mobile device, which can include smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This learning approach has been shown to offer many benefits for both businesses and employees. One major benefit to this type of training is that delivery can come in many forms, including podcasts, reading materials, and eLearning lessons, that can be accessed from nearly anywhere. With companies seeing many remote employees today, this can be a major advantage. We’ll discuss ways a custom mobile learning solution can empower a remote workforce.
Today, there are approximately 3.7 million employees who work remotely across the globe. It is proving to be a beneficial arrangement for both employers and their employees. For employers, hiring a remote workforce benefits both the quality and profitability of their company. When a company can open their recruiting pool to include anyone world-wide, versus just those that are a proximate distance from the company’s location, they increase the quality of their hires. As a result, they become a more efficient and profitable company. Additionally, real estate and overhead expenses related to office operations are drastically reduced when you eliminate the amount of staff you need to house in a corporate location. These expenses like computers, phones, electricity, heating, and air conditioning add up to tremendous costs. Studies show that, on average, an employer saves $11,000 each year per half-time commuter, with savings even higher for a full-time remote employee.
Remote employees rate their satisfaction with their job much higher than their commuting counterparts. Studies show that working from home has been shown to lower stress. This provides a mutual benefit to their employer, as they are less likely to leave their company. They enjoy flexible work schedules that allow for easy integration into their personal schedules, hobbies, and relationships. They do not have to foot expenses and time needed for commuting.
A remote workforce is naturally spread out across a region, possibly even throughout the world. Employees are often drawn to this type of work environment specifically for its lack of commuting needs and would not look forward to having to meet at a specific location at a certain time in order to receive training, especially when there are other ways to reach this audience. Mobile learning provides the best solution for both remote employees and the company.
If you are enjoying the benefits that a remote workforce brings to a company, it’s important to keep this valuable group well-trained. Here are 7 ways a custom mobile learning solution can benefit your remote workforce.
Mobile learning makes it easy for employees to initiate and complete training by allowing them to use their mobile devices. Remote workers tend to have an increased productivity rate over their in-office counterparts, due largely to the lack of interruptions. The same can be inferred from a classroom training environment— employees encounter more interruptions when they are brought together in one location. Each interruption costs the employee approximately 15 minutes before they regain focus. These distractions can add up quickly, and your employees can focus more effectively with a mobile learning solution that keeps them in a more isolated environment. Employees are more efficient when they can integrate training into their typical daily schedules in an environment they are used to working in.
As opposed to longer multi-topic sessions, mLearning works best when it is focused on a single topic, referred to as a micro lesson. By keeping each micro lesson focused on a single topic, a library of resources is created for learners to access the exact content they need, as opposed to searching through longer multi-topic lessons that may or may not contain the material they need.
These micro lessons become a constant companion for your employees to provide just-in-time support in an easily absorbed format for your learners right before they complete a task. The best time to learn new information is right before we use it. Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve illustrates that we forget 80% of what we learn in 30 days. Studies show that reinforcement from applying what we have learned makes us more likely to retain new information.
Your custom mobile learning solution can utilize a mobile device’s capabilities, like photo and video taking or gps-reporting. The possibilities are limitless, allowing you the freedom to create a robust and personalized training.
Statistics show that video content is preferred by mobile learning audiences. One way to capitalize on the preference for video content while utilizing their mobile device’s capabilities is to allow your team to populate a user-created video library. Your employees, particularly those with seniority, are full of valuable wisdom that they have collected during their time with your organization. Your entire organization can benefit from hearing from these valuable members of your team, but it is too time consuming and impractical to ask these remote employees to have face-to-face conversations with everyone in the company. Mobile learning gives your employees the ability to record video in which they share their advice and experiences for distribution across your mobile learning platform indefinitely without taking up additional time from their work day, letting them know they are valued members of the team.
One downfall that remote workers find with working from home is a lack of connection to their coworkers. A way you can capitalize on your learner’s native use of their mobile device while solving this disconnect is to invite collaboration surrounding your content. Your employees are used to using their mobile devices to stay in touch with each other. You can invite your remote employees to participate in online chats and discussion groups related to your mobile learning, which helps employees to build camaraderie.
Remote employees enjoy the ability to complete tasks in settings that fit into their daily routine, including learning. Mobile training allows employees to download training in order to access it offline at any time and in any setting, no matter the internet connection. This opens up the possibilities for employees who wish to multitask by taking training during their daily routine, no matter where they are.
With many traditional training methods, there are costs that are incurred for each session. Classroom training, for example, brings costs for the facilitator, the location, travel, and course materials. Your employees also take on the burden of time and expense to travel to the training facility. Mobile learning utilizes the devices your audience already owns and are familiar with, giving them the freedom to access training no matter where they are. After the initial investment is made to create the training content, it can be delivered infinitely with no additional expense- making it the most scaleable of training solutions.
A topic should be trained consistently throughout your organization. With remote workers, this can be quite a challenge with traditional training methods such as classroom instructions. Even with the same set of course materials and instructor, each session of classroom training can be delivered with a different tone and message depending on factors you can’t control- such as the instructor not feeling well that day. With mobile learning, every learner accesses the exact same material, no matter their location, and can do so across multiple devices.
Employees view training as not only a benefit, but also a priority of their employers. When a company fails to make their employees feel well prepared for their responsibilities, they begin to look into work elsewhere.Employees who feel connected to a company are more likely to stay for a longer amount of time. By establishing a thorough training library optimized for mobile learning, you are letting your employees know that you value their growth and their time.
As you begin to develop your training plan for your remote workforce, keep these key benefits in mind and move your training content to a custom mobile learning solution.