A bold prediction for 2021: Everyone will hear and read so much about hybrids, hybridization, and hybridizing that hybrid and all its variations will become cliched by the end of the year. Hybrid training is no exception.
Let’s start with the evolving definition of “the office.” The Washington Post, among other media outlets, predicts more hybrid office environments when the pandemic finally releases its grip on the world. Some workers cannot wait to get back to the office so they can interact in person with colleagues (and escape nosy pets and noisy offspring). Others love working remotely and dread the idea of going back to the way things were. Expect fewer companies to do so. A growing pool of evidence indicates that employees can be as much or more productive working from home. From that comes the hybrid workforce concept. Some of us will work from home, others will work in the office or out in the field, and still others will do some of both.
Look for hybrid training to progress in step with this new hybrid workforce. Training programs are delivering more hybrid training offerings. We have seen this trend already through our training registration software at GoSignMeUp. Not since before the pandemic has anyone contacted GoSignMeUp seeking a registration management platform exclusively for in-person classes. Some programs need a registration process that works solely with live learning via Teams or similar video conferencing. Others need registration that connects to a learning management system.
No one expects in-person learning to return to pre-pandemic numbers. But neither will live training. Synchronous training by itself is not enough, or practical, in every case. Asynchronous training is not enough by itself either. Some situations are just better when instructors and learners are in the same room. Some learning is better when the learner can interact immediately with the trainer. Other learning content is best consumed according to the learner’s own schedule. Both/and will often replace either/or. That’s hybrid training.
When the pandemic is over, what will we be talking about as we lounge on a Caribbean beach, elbow-to-elbow and safe from the virus? Perhaps hybrid training will be taken for granted by then.