Learning from home

Learning and development
Ian Richardson
By Ian Richardson | 18th March 2020

Working from home has been an integral part of life for a growing number of us over the last few years.

Whether this is a normal part of our role or due to changing circumstances this type of working provides several well recognised pros and cons.

The advantages of productivity gains due to fewer interruptions, allowing more focused work, increased motivation of having a better work/life balance and not having to do the daily commute are balanced with the issues of forgetting to ‘clock off’, the isolation of not seeing colleagues and feeling out of the loop with what is going on ‘in the office’.

However, one of the key challenges is the area of development. The danger of being away from the office is that we concentrate solely on work and ignore the fact that we should be, or need to be, spending time enhancing our personal and professional skills and compliance knowledge.

At TWM we face these difficulties ourselves - we may provide and support organisations with Learning Experience Platforms (LEP), but with some of the team based at remote locations we must deal with these challenges as well.

So how do I stay ‘in the loop’ and complete the required learning?

Personally, I use OVO (Our Virtual Office) – this is our ‘in-house’ version of the TWM LEP. The core functionality of the platform means: -

  • My mandatory learning is streamed to me through the Learning Record
  • The requirements for a deeper level of understanding on specific topics and compliance areas are met by the Pathways tool
  • The Policy document functionality means I can ‘electronically sign’ to confirm I have read and understood any new and updated policies
  • The Communities tools allow me to ask questions of the team and share my learning with them

The other key advantage is Sarah, my manager, has instant access to view and support the learning I am undertaking. We then use the Communities tools to discuss this progress – or we may just pick up the phone or dial into Microsoft Teams and chat!

Of course, all of this is reported on, so we have the compliance recording as well

Much is currently being written about working from home, with articles on how best to do it, top tips on surviving it etc., but few of them seem to have any thoughts on learning and development. So, if you don't yet have your own OVO, a few of ideas you can try: -

  • Discussing development needs with your manager when having 'catch up calls' - don't let it get forgotten. Working from home does need some different skills and knowledge to working in the office!
  • Keep in touch with your L&D team (assuming you have one) to ensure your compliance knowledge is up to date
  • Look out for free webinars / resources on the web
  • Schedule some time for development. One of the advantages of working from home is the flexibility of your schedule - use it!
  • Make sure your professional CPD is being updated

Whether working from home is a short-term measure or more permanent, nurturing ‘Learning at home’ is vital for both me and the wider organisation as the pace of change accelerates.

Keep working, keep learning!

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