The Good & Bad of the Virtual Transition
Front of the Room – Brian Lange
It’s a curious time now in this pandemic journey.
So, now we’re many months into this new reality of the move to a virtual training world. It seems to be a good time for us to reflect on the realities of what we’ve experienced so far.
My esteemed colleague, Tina Greene, recently led the first virtual edition of the PrimeTime! For Trainers workshop (www.L-TEN.org/primetime). One of the interesting discussions that transpired was an assessment of the positives and negatives experienced thus far for the workshop participants in the transition to virtual training.
Among the challenges, you won’t be surprised to learn that onboarding new employees felt different, as it was more challenging to convey the true culture of the organization.
Technology, of course, presented its own myriad of tests: Mastering different platforms, accommodating varying internet speeds and time zones, and even the scheduling and managing of guest speakers was more of an organizational chore than usual.
The need to be “on” during the seemingly endless virtual meetings/trainings consumed massive amounts of energy and spirit. But, overall, it was expressed and jointly agreed that there is a sense that virtual training is just less personal.
Several positive aspects of virtual were identified, including that the technology needs compelled us to dive deeper into programs/platforms in which we were already familiar and to jump into entirely new arenas.
The acquisition of new skills and insights in this technology vein makes us better facilitators moving forward — regardless of what blend of training modalities ultimately become the “norm” in each of our companies.
More time with those at home with us was often an “interesting” dynamic, and “business casual” dress code took on a whole new meaning (goodbye pants!).
It’s a curious time now in this pandemic journey: We’re seeing signs of previous life creep back in (hello sports #missthefans), and many college students are back on campus (if not in actual classrooms, yet). We’re all wondering when we can add more in-person activities in our personal and work lives.
Like training, for example.
It seems we have made great strides and achievements (see my Fall 2020 “Front of The Room” column) in pivoting to meet the needs of this unplanned departure from the safety and comforts of our well-appointed conference and training rooms across our industry. We are definitely more tech-savvy, and we will have greater flexibility and options to meet the needs of learners moving forward.
We have also saved money on shopping for work clothes and on professional laundering. And on Ubers to the airport, and on overpriced food and beverages once at the airport. And, we’ve saved lots of time by not standing in TSA lines, or waiting to board and deplane.
But, speaking for myself … I kind of miss it. No. I do miss it. Almost all of it.
Brian Lange is with Perim Consulting and serves as lead facilitator for LTEN PrimeTime! For Trainers Core and Masters Workshops. Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.