Changing the way we think about the future of work – Irish Independent Supplement 26 June 2022

Sunday, June 26th

We are delighted to appear in the Future of Work supplement in today’s Irish Independent where our learning expert Janet Benson provides tips on ‘Helping staff adapt to the changing workplace’. Read Janet’s column below or read the full supplement here:

Helping staff adapt to the changing workplace

Employers must be flexible to ensure their personnel are adequately prepared for the working environment of the future.

Different working practices adopted during COVID-19 have become the new normal, with staff increasingly preferring the hybrid working model of some days in the office and others at home. But there are challenges as companies endeavour to ensure workers are future ready with relevant 21st century workplace skills. Learning expert Janet Benson recommends three key ways firms can help their staff prepare for the changing world of work.

1. Keep hybrid workers engaged Companies need to focus on skills and capabilities such as empathy, teamwork, resilience and creativity and identify where upskilling is required to address any gaps. “When looking at remote and hybrid working, it is about engaging employees, so they do not feel isolated,” she says. Employers should assess what staff want via surveys as not everybody wants to, or can, work from home. Employers should pay attention to “distance bias,” a growing issue in the hybrid workforce where those working from home are potentially overlooked in terms of opportunities and promotions.

2  Help employees achieve work-life balance Many people established a new work-life balance during the pandemic and workers want to maintain the flexibility that remote working provides, it’s no longer just about salary, says Benson, who is Learning Lead at The Learnovate Centre, a technology centre focused on the future of work and learning, which is funded by
Enterprise Ireland and based in Trinity College Dublin. Other challenges include remote onboarding and development. Companies must address these key issues as they seek to recruit and retain a workforce adequately prepared for the future of work.

3. Support continuous learning remotely

Online learning remains an important part of the process, but companies need to manage this carefully, adds Benson, who suggests a first step is to assess a learner’s needs and capabilities. There should also be interaction and flexibility in online training to retain interest and motivation.

Learnovate is a global research and innovation centre in learning technologies. An industry-led technology centre funded by Enterprise Ireland, Learnovate provides thought leadership to the world’s learning and development community on the innovative use of learning technology for maximum organisation success. Global experts in learning technology, Learnovate help companies transform employee, student and customer learning experiences.

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