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    Remote Work Tips for the New “Digital Warrior” Era of Employees

    Normally, it can be difficult to recognize major societal shifts as they’re happening. The smartphone revolution, for example, evolved as cell phone technology improved in the early 2000s. As a society adjusting to the new possibilities of internet connectivity, we collectively began downloading apps, communicating on different platforms, and finding new ways to connect from our devices. In the past decade, we’ve even begun incorporating smart technology into our homes and cars. Although the days of the early internet aren’t too far in the past, this shift was still relatively gradual.

    Then came the coronavirus. A year ago this month, COVID-19 introduced us to a series of rapid adjustments—the like of which we had never experienced before. From transitioning to working from home and setting up e-learning environments for our kids, to ordering groceries online and having family gatherings over Zoom, the pandemic affected nearly every facet of our lives.

    Welcome to the Era of the Digital Warrior

    Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of living through such unprecedented disruptions is the fact that we’ve managed to adjust to all of the upheavals. Armed with digital technology, we’ve been able to battle a global pandemic while largely carrying on with our lives. In short, we’ve adapted to living in a post-coronavirus world.

    Even the most reluctant adopters of digital technology are now competently using video messaging platforms, mobile apps, and web services to continue working in a remote environment. Our children may be the digital native generation, but COVID-19 has created an entire society of digital warriors.

    With many companies committing to remaining remote even after things get back to normal, we thought it would be a good time to share some valuable lessons we’ve learned about how to set your employees up to thrive while working from home.

    Helpful Resources for Employers

    The large-scale shift to remote work in 2020 reinforced a workplace trend that was already in progress. According to FlexJobs, a staggering 41.8% of the American workforce was working remotely at the end of 2020. An estimated 26.7% will still be working from home through 2021, and 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025. This represents an 87% increase from the number of remote workers prior to the pandemic!

    For many business leaders, this has resulted in major changes to daily operations. Here are some helpful resources to help you navigate this transition:

    Navigating New Communication Platforms

    As meetings started to migrate from the conference room to a virtual landscape, many of us have had to learn to navigate new communication platforms and applications, such as Teams or Slack.

    There’s no way around it—video conferences can be awkward. There are more potential distractions and technical difficulties to overcome, and not being able to pick up on the nuances of non-verbal communication is challenging.

    Becoming familiar with your company’s preferred communication channel for virtual meetings and 1:1 conversations will help you develop a sense of ease with the format and make communication feel more natural.

    Incorporating eLearning into Your Training and Development Program

    Providing employees a structured opportunity to train, grow, and develop their skills often leads to increased job satisfaction. Investing in digital training resources is now more critical than ever. Not only does it help increase an employee's efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity, it also helps to keep them engaged and plugged into the organization.

    When you invest in your employees by providing learning and development resources, your organization benefits in many ways:

    • 87% of millennials say that professional development and career growth are significant to them.

    • 57% of employers have increased the amount of formal training provided in the last three years.

    • 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs.

    • Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.

    In these uncertain times, investing in eLearning technology can be a critical component to your organization’s success. Not only will your employees be better skilled and prepared to perform their duties more efficiently, but eLearning platforms can also help them become motivated and engaged in their role.

    Click here for the corporate training solution your business needs.

    Mandy Smith

    Mandy Smith is Vice President of Training and Employee Development and is responsible for providing SWBC employees with learning and development opportunities which enable them to be more effi cient, eff ective, and engaged. In 2016, she was named a Learning! Champion High Performer by Enterprise Learning! Mandy is a member of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and is active in the local chapter. She currently sits on the Chief Learning Officers Business Intelligence Board.

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