Rethinking the Way We Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink many aspects of our lives, including the nature of work. How can we effectively connect with each other while facemasks and social distancing are the norm? How can we collaborate effectively when we can’t simply gather in front a whiteboard or walk down the hall to chat with a colleague? How can we find the right talent when we are not able to interview candidates in person?

A few decades ago, the workplace challenges we are currently facing would have been overwhelming. But technological advances have made it possible to continue to connect, communicate, organize, and stay productive. Information flows freely through internet-connected devices and cloud-based software, and everyone is just a click or tap away. We are finding new ways to organize ourselves around our work, and we are testing the basic assumptions we’ve held for so long.

For example, while human connection is important, instead of having everyone working in the office, it may be more important to find the best combination of talent, wherever they may be. And perhaps organizations have emphasized workforce stability and employee retention too much, resulting in missed opportunities for talent to flow dynamically in and out of organizations as needs change. It’s very likely that many will look back at the amount of business travel they used to do and wonder why they didn’t question its value and environmental impact more.

The learning and development function is a great example of an area where technology has changed perceptions of the way things should work. Now that individuals no longer need to be at a specific physical location to learn a new skill or earn a certification, learning can be more dynamic, continuous, and tailored to individual needs. Software-based learning systems can accurately analyze the effectiveness of course content and delivery. And a learning management system (LMS) can optimize employees’ learning experiences in ways that traditional methods can’t easily duplicate.

Acendre is also rethinking the way we work. That includes the way we teach customers and prospective customers about our own LMS, Inquisiq. We recently reconfigured our free trial experience that allows customers to explore the software on their own whenever it’s convenient for them.

We based the reconfiguration on the knowledge that we’ve gained from years of guiding customers through hands-on demos of the LMS. We recognized that an interactive guided demo is a quite different experience from customers exploring the LMS by themselves. We also knew that we wouldn’t be able to resolve every potentially confusing point right off the bat. So, Acendre has built instrumentation into the trial learning paths to help us identify and deal with areas where the learning experience could be improved. Our goal is to have the trial experience improve continuously over time so that everyone can quickly and easily understand what Inquisiq can help them do.

Regardless of when things go back to “normal” – whatever that means – it is unlikely that the world will revert to the pre-pandemic ways of working. And that’s a good thing. Making more use of an internet-connected world and the right tools can help eliminate friction and inefficiency in workflows, allowing all of us to focus on the things that truly matter.

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