Telecommuting is on the rise. According to a study published by the Global Workforce Analytics, the phenomenon has seen a whopping 115% growth in the last ten years. A major reason for the rise in remote workers is the convenience that it provides to the employees while saving costs to the employer. Telecommuting is thus a win-win for both parties.

But remote working is not without its share of issues. While trained remote workers demonstrate significantly higher levels of productivity, employers find it challenging to train them and bring them up to speed in the first place. Inadequately trained remote workers tend to be less productive than their in-office counterparts, and this defeats the purpose of telecommuting.

Benefits Of Microlearning

Microlearning is also called bite-sized learning or content chunking. This pedagogical method is proven to improve retention and is particularly effective for remote worker training. According to a study conducted by Hermann Ebbinghaus, adult learners forget as much as 80% of their lessons within the first 30 days. The drop in retention is particularly high in the first day.

With microlearning, the emphasis is not on completing a course, but instead on grasping the concepts. Consequently, microlearning plays a fine role in training an employee and improving their productivity at work.

Microlearning For Remote Worker Training

Compared to other forms of pedagogy, microlearning has a much better impact on remote workers. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Firstly, many remote workers are located across different time zones. This makes it difficult for them to attend live video-based training sessions. A non-real-time training method like microlearning is preferred more by these workers.

Another reason for the popularity of microlearning among remote workers is its ability to schedule these lessons around regular work hours. A typical microlearning session does not take more than 20 minutes to complete. As a result, such lessons could be taken during lunch hours or before or after work. Remote workers who are telecommuting due to family reasons find such courses easier to complete. The other benefits of microlearning is only an added benefit.

How To Use Microlearning With Remote Worker Training

Deploying a microlearning course for remote workers is a multi-step process. Here is a brief gist of how to go about this.

Break down core objectives – The first step in the process is to break down the core objectives of the training session. Every worker is unique in their roles and responsibilities. While there are possibly lessons that are common to all your workers, there are also lessons that are unique. It is important to break your core objectives into smaller chunks, and further break them into even niche chunks. Once you have a granular view of each of these objectives, you could move forward with building a microlearning course for each of these objectives.

Identify channel of dissemination – Like your workers, the lessons are unique too. A medium that works well for one lesson may not necessarily work well for another. For instance, a session about ‘how to input a new record in your accounting software’ is best explained using a video or a photo tutorial. At the same time, a lesson on collaborating best practices is best imparted through a text doc with clear checklists. Unlike a video, a worker can skim through such checklists any number of times and do not have to watch an entire video each time.

Once the dissemination strategy has been finalized, you may invest in content production.

Content organization – Once all the lessons have been produced, the next step is to organize them into chapters. The best thing about microlearning is that the chapters are produced on granular topics. As a result, the same bunch of lessons may be organized into very niche courses depending on the worker’s needs and the employer’s expectations. Personalization of lessons not only keeps courses targeted at a specific learner, but is also more productive since the learner does not have to spend time going through chapters that are not relevant to them.

In addition to the steps mentioned above, it is also a good idea to consider assessments at the end of each chapter or at the end of the course. Assessments help remote workers test their retention and is thus a great way to study the impact of a training session. From an employer’s perspective too, such assessments help study the impact of your courses and give you insights into how to make your chapters more effective for your remote workers.

Author bio: Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of free business apps and resources

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes.For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive.Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City.He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.