Benefits of Virtual Classroom Training

Are you considering virtual classroom training? Do you have questions about how it will work in practice? Wondering if it’s the right training solution for you?

Hear from our specialist training team about the unique set-up of our virtual classroom sessions and how they can benefit you as you work from home.

Easy access from the comfort of your own home

Our virtual classroom sessions are a full day training course, broken into bite-sized learning sessions with regular comfort breaks to stretch those legs and keep topped up with coffee. To get involved all you need is a PC/laptop with audio and camera!

We provide several options for those that have technology limitations, and also allow some flexibility to help you balance the training with childcare.

“Many of our delegates are dealing with managing their work at home and several other priorities, but luckily us trainers are experts in patience and so will do our best to accommodate!”
– Dennis, Microsoft Office Trainer

Ask questions and learn new skills in a relaxed setting

In the virtual classroom we encourage using video feed to maximise non-verbal communication and interaction.

 

Small group sizes mean that there are also lots of opportunities to ask questions. In fact, your trainer will be constantly asking you questions throughout the day so you can’t get away with daydreaming!

“Interestingly I’ve found that participants are immediately extremely comfortable and relaxed when they join the virtual classroom. I guess because they are in their own home with a nice cup of tea. It means that we can very quickly get the session off to a great start, with lots of discussion and participation from the very beginning.”
– Gregory, Professional Development Trainer

Interactive and fun

Quiz question from virtual classroom

Our trainers use a variety of activities to keep you engaged throughout the day. These can range from quizzes and interactive whiteboards, to team competitions, personal reflection worksheets and skill practice sessions.

Our trainers also tend to have larger than life personalities, so if you’re expecting to get bored then think again!

“Our natural enthusiasm for the topics we teach help us to build rapport and keep everyone engaged, even with highly technical concepts. I just love getting people excited about Power BI!”
– Jens, Power BI Trainer

Connect with others in similar positions

An issue many employees suddenly face now they work remotely is the effects of isolation and loneliness. Luckily, our virtual classroom trainings give you the opportunity to get together virtually and connect with like-minded people. The sessions really are a great chance to share common challenges, brainstorm and even solve problems.

“During the session we encourage peer-to-peer learning, so it isn’t simply a lecture from your trainer. We particularly focus on helping you apply the skills and knowledge to real-life work scenarios – whether those scenarios are remote working or one day in the future when we get back to the office.”
– Alastair, Management Skills Trainer

Support before, during and after your virtual classroom session

Our admin team work very hard behind the scenes to ensure our virtual classroom sessions run smoothly.

Before training:

  • Test your set-up using a ‘test virtual classroom’
  • Talk to our support team to troubleshoot issues and answer questions

During the training:

  • Your dedicated support trainer will be available all day to assist alongside the lead trainer in the virtual classrooms
  • This includes answering questions in the chat window and even stepping in if there are technical issues

After the training:

Attendance to a virtual classroom session gives you access to:

  • The course manual and any post-course exercises
  • STL blog and video library, crammed full of productivity tips and tricks direct from our training team
  • STL delegate support forum, where you can post a question and one of our trainers will respond within approx. 24 hours

How do I find out more?

If you like what you hear, take a look at our course catalogue and speak to one of our Learning Solutions Advisors, who will be able to recommend the right virtual classroom option for you.

Happy learning!

3 Key Techniques for Managing a New Remote Team

With many of us suddenly being asked to work from home as the world tries to tackle the spread of Coronavirus, you may find yourself unexpectedly launched into managing a new remote team.

Do you want to support your team, maintain productivity and drive business performance during this challenging time? Well read on, because we’ve outlined three key techniques below for getting the most from your team as they work from home.

1)   Engage with your remote team regularly

Even before social distancing and self-isolation restrictions were put in place, Buffer’s State of Remote Work report in 2019 identified loneliness as a major challenge for remote workers. In fact, prolonged isolation can – in extreme cases – result in problems like anxiety and depression. This can have a huge impact on an employee’s engagement and productivity, not to mention their overall well-being.

Frequent communication is an important tool for tackling this problem. Try to encourage your team to use multiple channels to communicate – and do it on a daily basis. Ensure you arrange the appropriate number of weekly formal “report-ins”, but remember to make time for small talk and quality 1-1s too.

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Try to use gifs to convey emotion – congrats!

Ideally, you want to create an atmosphere of engagement and genuine connection. Try to use video conferencing instead of pure audio calls where possible to enhance this. If using a chat feature, use animated gifs and emojis to convey emotion. These forms of communication may be out of your normal comfort zone, but given that so much of communication is non-verbal, using these methods can significantly reduce the risk of hurt feelings.

2)   Make the most of the tools available

If you’ve been thrown in the deep end with remote working, you and your team may not have that perfect home office you always dreamed of. In fact, many of your team members right this moment might be squashed in a spare room, stuck on their sofa, or worst-case scenario working from a laptop on their bed! Encourage your team to experiment with their workspace, making the best of the space they have and ensuring they can work comfortably for several hours at a time.

The same rule goes for online tools. Maximise your team’s performance by using some of the amazing collaboration tools now available. Common choices include Office 365/Teams, Zoom and Slack. Use video calls to discuss ideas and provide updates with small or large groups. Share your screen to demonstrate a point or explain a workflow. You can even allow others to take control of your screen for true collaborative working. Online whiteboards are the perfect tool for ideation and brainstorming, so there’s no need to stop the flow of creativity during this time. And lastly remember to create areas dedicated for celebrating milestones and recognising both team and individual successes.

Teams screen share
Share screens to collaborate in a video call

 

3)   Show trust by focusing on outcomes, not activity

Nobody likes to have their manager breathing down their neck. This is true no matter the work arrangement, but especially important when you can’t see the reaction of the other person.

To get the most from your team, don’t worry as much about what is being done. Instead, concentrate on what is being achieved. Help your team understand exactly how you will measure success by clearly defining the scope, deadlines, and deliverables for each task or project. Set expectations about what doing something “quickly” or “well” means, and provide clarity by showing examples, creating project flows and communicating regularly.

You Got This Lighted Signage
Remember to support and trust your remote team

DO NOT track their activity and log on times or get frustrated if they don’t respond to a message straight away. When your team to manages their own time, it allows them to maximise their personal energy levels and productivity, leading to both higher output and motivation. This takes a large amount of trust in your team, so remember a good remote manager gives their trust freely and acts as a role model for the rest of the team – if you don’t trust your team, you have to ask why you hired them in the first place.

 

How do I develop my skills as a remote manager?

You are not alone. Many managers are looking to develop their skills so they can adapt to the current challenging circumstances.

To learn more and improve your approach, take a look at our Managing Teams Remotely virtual classroom training.

An investment in your skillset as a remote manager now could be the difference between success and failure as a remote team in the coming months.