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How eLearning is Driving the Future of Work

Discover how digital learning is essential to the remote work revolution, and how Lionbridge can help

COVID allowed us the opportunity to rethink what's possible in the workplace — and what our ideal work scenarios might look like in the future. Everything has changed about how, and where, we work right now. The work-from-home trend emerged as the "new normal,” and has intensified the need for a transformational workplace — wherever that workplace might be.

Most global knowledge workers like working remotely more than coming into the office, and they don’t want to go back to the old model. According to a Slack study of workers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, and Australia, only 11.6% say they want to return to the office full time, while 72.2% want a hybrid setup.

As many companies embrace a remote or hybrid model of work, now is the time for executive leaders to break away from old models of work — where employees all reported to a single location — to newer, more human-centric models, which allows companies to secure digital-era talent from around the world. And this seismic shift in when and where employees work has recast expectations for how they work and how you’re supporting and engaging them.

In this new hybrid-work reality, eLearning has become the most optimal tool right from hiring for employee training, engagement, and alignment.

"People think of eLearning as those courses we see when we have to do security training,” said Betsy Totten, Lionbridge’s Program Manager for Global Content. “But it can cover anything from new company-wide initiatives to a new application rollout, to new hire training. It can be any kind of topic that needs to get distributed to a large group of people in an effective way to help change behavior and drive results."

As experts in eLearning and language, Lionbridge offers the content creation and translation services you need to keep your teams informed, engaged, empowered, and valued as employees.

We examine some of the key trends in emerging work models, and how Lionbridge can be a key partner in this remote work revolution. 

New Flexibility in Employee Work Models

According to Future Forum, one of the most important factors contributing to a positive remote experience for global workers is the ability to work a flexible schedule. Gone are the days when employees all worked from 9 to 5: Instead, employees enjoy selecting their own hours and the location from where they work, giving them ample time to tend to loved ones, learn new skills, and pursue hobbies.

Distributed, Asynchronous, and Hybrid Work Models

By allowing employees to choose the work model that helps them be the most productive, companies can maximize collaboration while maintaining employee morale. Teams may choose to work apart or together, or in a remote environment or onsite.  

A variety of work setups have emerged as companies allow employees to decide how to work:

  • Remote: A remote workforce spends almost all day working from home or another offsite location. The employee selects their own workspace and work environment, and hours tend to be flexible and accommodate personal demands. Their role tends to not necessitate being in the office frequently.
  • In-office: Almost all workdays are spent in the office, with a company-provided workspace. Employees abide by defined work hours, and their roles may be dependent on working onsite.
  • Synchronous: Employees all work roughly the same hours and are able to communicate in real-time over email or through collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
  • Asynchronous: Employees work different hours, either due to time zone differences or personal choices about when an employee wants to work.
  • Borderless: In a borderless model, employees can work from anywhere in the world. They choose their own workspace and work schedule and can work flexible hours or work asynchronously. No part of their role depends on being onsite.
  • Distributed: A distributed workforce includes both onsite and offsite employees. It can accommodate different time zones and asynchronous working times and has the necessary digital infrastructure in place to accommodate this blended model.

Embracing an asynchronous work model where people can work at different times helps create a diverse and inclusive office. Instead of relying on local talent, employers can hire from around the world, creating a larger talent pool and more opportunities for those who may live far from conventional business centers and may not be able to commute. According to Slack, a remote or hybrid work model attracts more candidates, including those from underrepresented groups. The Future Forum’s Remote Employee Experience Index shows that in the United States, historically underrepresented groups might prefer remote work, reporting greater levels of satisfaction working from home than their white counterparts.   

In Gartner’s 2020 Reimagine HR Client Survey, 90% of HR leaders completely trusted employees to work from home, while 75% believed employees are just as productive working remotely as in the office. According to the same survey, 25% of the global knowledge workforce will choose to work from home by 2022. Around 45% of the workforce will work from home two to three days a week.

A survey by CBRE Asia Pacific Research found that prior to the pandemic, most Asian companies restricted remote working to no more than 10% of their workforce. That figure is now expected to rise to as much as 50% in the next few years.

Companies need not choose between bringing all employees into the office or sending all workers home permanently. A hybrid model where employees can choose where and how they work best leads to the greatest employee satisfaction and greatest productivity levels.

In addition to allowing a remote option for global workers, companies should also consider allowing their employees to choose when to work. According to Owl Lab’s 2020 State of Remote Work report, a remote work option can make or break a company’s ability to recruit and retain employees. Their survey indicated that 74% of U.S. respondents wanted to be able to work on their own schedule for at least part of the day. As a result, HR representatives should consider flexible work hours policies as a key competitive factor for talent acquisition.

A woman working on a laptop

How Lionbridge Can Help

The transition to remote or hybrid work presents a unique opportunity to create eLearning offerings for a global workforce. Instead of hosting trainings in person, companies can create interactive digital experiences to engage employees from around the world. Lionbridge has over 25 years of experience in designing and localizing learning content at scale and in any language.

Our end-to-end eLearning services cover everything from ideation to implementation to hosting and maintenance. We are experts in simplifying complex material and engaging learners.

At Lionbridge, we offer a full life cycle of services for any and every eLearning need our customers have. We conduct training, perform diagnostic studies, analyze customers’ existing content, design new content, and host and manage content on customers’ Learning Management Systems (LMSs). We customize LMSs to cater to our customers’ needs, create mobile learning apps and desktop learning applications, and create automation tools and engines.

“If you have existing training, we can transform it into content that works for a distributed workforce,” Totten said. “And if you’re not there yet, we can help you create content from scratch.”

As digital learning becomes more common, eLearning offerings can encompass a greater amount of material, including ideas that may have traditionally been shared in an in-person environment. Partner with Lionbridge to transform these ideas into content that can engage learners from any region, in any language.

“eLearning means so many different things. It can include five-minute mini-modules, or videos, or interactive animations, or infographics,” Totten said. “There are so many different deliverable types, and we have experience working with all of them.”

We understand the need to introduce efficiencies in our customers’ existing systems instead of creating new models to design and deliver trainings. We do this by helping customers convert their existing training materials into interactive online formats, analyzing their existing training materials, and providing roadmaps based on their implementation priorities and budgets.

The customer is always at the heart of everything we do at Lionbridge. In our 25 years of experience, we have built some incredible relationships with customers, who depend on us as their extended team. Our agile working model helps us work in multiple roles with our customers, depending on where the need is. We do this by helping customers develop standalone assets like 2D/3D models, design simulations based on screengrabs for tool or system-based training, and create characters and animations.

Lionbridge can also consult on the redesign on legacy content, conduct feasibility analyses for multi-shore or rich media solutions, and create content hosting solutions.

See it in action:

Lionbridge provided end-to-end training support for retail launches for a global telecommunications company. We provided eLearning design and development, including quizzes, games, and AR/VR components. We also created print and onsite training and designed eLearning templates for a global audience. By localizing these materials into over 10 languages, we made the content available to key segments of the customer’s workforce.

A New Emphasis on the Employee Experience

Although embracing remote or hybrid work has positive effects overall, there are new challenges to be considered. Employees report lower levels of a sense of belonging when working remotely — according to Owl Lab’s report, managers reported reduced team cohesion and employee engagement and a lack of engagement with coworkers when working remotely. When in-person meetings or trainings disappear, crucial information may slip through the cracks. This move to hybrid work has caused companies to rethink their employee experience and come up with better strategies for employee engagement and productivity.

The unprecedented shift to remote work has caused companies to embrace new tools to connect and collaborate with their teams. These project management or communication tools cut down on meeting time and empower employees to keep track of their own deadlines and schedules. This shift to new tools, processes, and technologies has created a key area for training and eLearning — managers and employees need to be trained on how to best take advantage of these new procedures.

Learning and Development

According to The Learning Guild’s 2021 report Effects of the Pandemic on Learning and Technology Roadmaps, 55% of learning and development respondents around the world said they offered training on content that wasn’t offered widely in 2019, such as training on new work procedures, how to work from home, how to lead a remote team, and equity and inclusion.

Although many educational materials — such as webinars, trainings, and infographics — easily translated into a digital context once remote work became more common, a gap still exists in learning that usually comes from watching other people perform their jobs. According to Owl Lab’s report, almost 60% of managers report feeling like they are missing out on opportunities for informal leadership development and grooming of their direct reports.

eLearning providers have a unique opportunity to create channels to facilitate this type of learning, and, at the same time, make it more inclusive so workers from around the world can share in this knowledge.

According to the Fosway Group, 94% of learning and development professionals based primarily in Europe reported having to change their strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two in three respondents made significant changes to what they do and how they do it.

The pandemic may make acceptance of eLearning tools more commonplace, as these tools are necessary to fill gaps that remote work has created. While virtual learning has existed for decades, the remote and hybrid work world has created a greater acceptance of these tools, even among more resistant workforces.

In the Fosway Group study, 82% of respondents reported that demand for digital learning from senior stakeholders has increased, and 71% experienced increased demand for digital learning from end users. Organizations with immature digital learning adoption were three times more likely to have found coping with the pandemic difficult. 

A man working in front of a laptop

How Lionbridge Can Help

As many classrooms shift online, blogs, infographics, videos, and podcasts can become essential in engaging learners remotely. According to the Fosway group study, respondents found video, curated content, and mobile learning the most successful in supporting their organizations during the pandemic.  Shifting existing content to these formats need not be a big lift. Lionbridge has expertise in migrating content into new formats.

“If you haven’t yet put your content into these different kinds of highly consumable formats, we can help you figure out the optimal solution for your audience, and then develop it for you,” Totten said.

As new areas for remote training emerge during the pandemic, Lionbridge’s expertise in instructional design can ensure virtual training is just as efficient and informative as in-person training. And our experience as a Language Service Provider means we can offer eLearning courses in any language. Engaging with a single partner for creation and localization creates a frictionless experience, whether you’re creating content from scratch or putting it in a different format.

See it in action:

Lionbridge created eLearning language solutions for a global content company’s risk and compliance division. We localized highly specialized learning content into over 10 languages and rebuilt these localized courses in the customer’s preferred CMS. Providing this content in multiple languages ensured team cohesion for the company’s risk division.  

The Bottom Line

Lionbridge has over 25 years of experience in developing, translating, and hosting eLearning content. Step forward into the remote work revolution by creating digital content designed to engage a global workforce. Contact us today to get started. 

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