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Why eLearning is the perfect fit for flexible working

A homeworker using eLearning

Flexible working is not a new concept, but one that has been discussed many times before as a means to improve employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, attract & retain talented members of staff as well as contribute to business success. 

Flexible working allows a move from the traditional 9-5 office environment and enables employees to choose their hours of work that best suits them, as well as place of work, if it fits in with the needs of a business. Flexible working includes working from home, selecting start and finish times to suit (which may be earlier or later than the rest of the workforce), job sharing, and compressing hours (working full time over fewer days). You can find out more about flexible working options on the gov.uk website as well as a link to ACAS code of practice for handling requests in a reasonable manner.

There is a common misconception that flexible working is for parents with young children or those caring for a disabled or elderly relative at home. Yet as more people seek to achieve a better work-life balance flexible working is seen as a solution to improve their quality of life and reduce stress. 

Flexible working and eLearning

If your organisation is able to accommodate flexible working there may be some concerns over how best to train staff, particularly with mandatory workplace training. It can be challenging to find a time that is convenient for everyone to attend face-to-face sessions and it can become costly if you need to cover travel expenses or lose valuable working hours. Yet training is vital to ensure your employees are well equipped to complete their roles safely and effectively. With this in mind, we look at some reasons why eLearning is a good fit to meet training needs for companies that offer flexible working arrangements.

Easy to use and convenient

There is no denying that eLearning is extremely convenient as it can be accessed anywhere and anytime, as long as you have a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This is particularly useful for flexi workers as they can fit online training into their own schedule. iHASCO courses allow users to learn at their own pace and training can be stopped/started at any time, which allows employees to complete the course when they are focussed and ready to learn and set their own pace. A Learning Management System (LMS) can provide automatic email reminders to employees with any outstanding training, making it convenient for employers too.

Helps organisations work towards legislative compliance

All employers are legally obliged to supply their staff with specific Mandatory Health & Safety Training, including Fire Awareness Training and Display Screen Equipment Training. eLearning allows organisations to ensure staff are up to speed with Health & Safety requirements quickly and cost-effectively. Any new starters can be easily added to the online training course and tackle it at a time that best suits them, and existing employees can renew training as required, rather than having to schedule specific days and times for a group of employees.

Easy administration and reporting

Administration and record-keeping for staff training is a long and time-consuming task, especially if you have a lot of employees working different days and times and no LMS. eLearning, including an LMS, offers the ultimate package to organisations to ensure training can be available to all employees (regardless of their hours and place of work) when they need it.  Here at iHASCO, we understand that you might need a simple system that allows for easy management and reporting on staff training. Our simple, yet effective LMS comes free with any course purchase and allows for easy onboarding, administration, automation, and reporting.

Offers consistent training for all employees

Using online training means that all employees will be able to take the same course, with the same learning objectives, to ensure a consistent training programme. iHASCO courses culminate with a multiple-choice test, to ensure learners have taken onboard the key learning points. Employers can choose a pass level themselves and certificates are instant on successful completion of the test.  Employees who need to retake the test can revisit any part of an iHASCO course, and even go back to it at a more convenient time, yet receive the same standard of training as their colleagues. This is a huge benefit of online training, which provides flexible training to a flexible workforce.

Provides cost savings, including environmental benefits

There are obvious financial savings of online learning versus traditional face-to-face learning but also environmental benefits. Course material does not need to be printed and it takes away the need for employees to travel to a central location, so you are doing your bit for the environment.

Don’t let training be a barrier to offering flexible working. See eLearning as an opportunity to save money, effectively train your workforce and allow your employees to thrive, knowing they have a supportive employer. Today people are used to technology being part of their everyday life, so eLearning is something that won’t be daunting. Easy and quick access to learning plays to the strengths of a flexible workforce. 

The future of flexible working

The last year or so has seen unprecedented times, with many organisations having turned to remote working for all employees in line with government restrictions to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. For some employees, this will have confirmed that they enjoy the traditional office environment, and are looking forward to returning to normality. For others, this will have been a pivotal moment where they realised flexible working arrangements have helped them to achieve a better work-life balance. 

After so many businesses were left with no option but to offer flexible working in order to continue business operations, this rather unusual, unplanned experiment could have paved the way for more flexible working in the future. Especially when you consider that this current situation is not true flexible working but more a means to carry on. So this experience has only strengthened the ability of many businesses to offer flexible working arrangements going forward.

Workplace Training and Resources

In partnership with Citation, we've put together an employers guide to flexible working, which covers areas like flexible working requests & exceptions, handling requests fairly, making a decision, and many more.

You can download the guide for free here.

Additionally, as a leading provider of online Health & Safety, HR, and Business Compliance Training, we can almost certainly help your organisation with our range of essential courses. See what sets iHASCO apart from the rest...

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