Why You Need to Offer an Online Training Program to Your Freelancers or Telecommuters

Businessmen walking

It is no secret that the stan­dard work model has changed drasti­cally in the last 10–15 years. Fewer people get up in the morning and drive to work, where they sit at a desk for eight hours before driving home. More people are tele­com­mu­ting at least some of the time and that makes the use of online trai­ning programs and online meetings a suitable option for them.
In this article we take a look at the bene­fits of free­lan­cing, which have become more appa­rent in recent years, as well as why you should use the Web to train such remote workers for new posi­tions in your company.

The Benefits of Freelancing and Online Training

The American Commu­nity Survey data (2012), which excludes self-employed indi­vi­duals who work online, showed that:

  • 2.6% of U.S. employees (3.3 million people) considered their homes to be their primary workplace.
  • Tele­com­mu­ting grew by nearly 80% since 2005.
  • The work­force declined from 2011 – 2012, but the tele­com­mu­ting work­force grew by 3.8%.

ECon­sul­tancy reported that free­lan­cing is also on the rise, with the number of compa­nies that hired free­lan­cers in 2013 incre­asing by 46%. They also found that most of the top performing grads in the UK see free­lan­cing as a highly attrac­tive career option, while 21% of graduates with first class honours have already made the decision to work freelance.

Rising Graph

These statis­tics show that compa­nies are incre­asingly reali­sing the bene­fits of hiring free­lan­cers and using flexi­time staff to benefit their compa­nies, and that the quality of free­lan­cers is constantly increasing.

Apart from the fact that tele­com­muters gene­rally have more job satis­fac­tion, compa­nies benefit from:

Lower Company Over­heads: Compa­nies require less office space as workers work from their own homes. In most cases tele­com­muters or free­lan­cers provide their own tech­no­logy, and since they don’t have to commute, compa­nies tend to pay them a lower hourly rate.

Advanced Skills Procu­re­ment: When compa­nies hire in-house workers, they are bound to choose people who live in a certain city or region, who can commute to work daily. However, when they hire a free­lancer, or someone who can tele­com­mute, they can hire someone from anywhere in the world, who matches their desired skill-set. Hiring free­lan­cers means that you can hire specia­lists for as long as you need them, rather than gene­ra­lists over long career spans.

Increased Produc­ti­vity: A happy worker is a hard worker, and with less travel time, fewer distrac­tions and more flexi­bi­lity, tele­com­muters are gene­rally happier. In fact, Econ­sul­tancy said that 69% of graduates feel that inde­pen­dent work offers a better work-life balance.

Why Online Training is a Great Option for Companies

As more people work across borders, trai­ning, meetings and brain­stor­ming sessions needn’t become an issue. Tech­no­logy conti­nues to advance, making file sharing, docu­ment sharing, online meeting and screen sharing soft­ware available to everyone.

  1. No Travel Required: With team members in diffe­rent cities or even on diffe­rent conti­nents, there’s no longer a need to travel to provide trai­ning. Screen sharing offers a great way for initial trai­ning sessions and follow up sessions alike.
  2. Live Meetings Anytime: With little need to travel all the time to answer ques­tions or conduct trai­ning, it is now easier via online meetings to find appro­priate times for trai­ning sessions which suit ever­yone. Meetings over the Web have all the elements of a live meeting, without the hassle and cost of travel and trying to find a regular sche­dule that works for ever­yone. Team members in diffe­rent parts of the world can simply log in from anywhere which makes their sche­dule and avai­la­bi­lity more flexible.
  3. Multi-Person Trai­ning Sessions: Each trai­ning session can include multiple people in various loca­tions, world­wide. Without online trai­ning you would either have to travel to all the loca­tions or get all those people to travel to you. This feature trans­lates to massive savings not only on travel costs, but on time as well.
  4. Re-Purpo­sing Content: Trai­nings can be recorded, so trai­nees can play­back the files, over and over. Content of the trai­nings can be re-purposed for a variety of uses, depen­ding on the type of infor­ma­tion. Imagine using sections from your product trai­ning session on company blog posts or else­where on your website, or even on your social media marke­ting campaigns.
  5. Better Talent Procu­re­ment: Hiring people and trai­ning them online means you can take on staff, full-time or part-time, from anywhere in the world. This benefit means that you can expand your talent pool, allo­wing you to find the right person for the job.
  6. Expan­sion: Better trai­ning and commu­ni­ca­tion tools enable you to expand into distant markets, because you can hire and train people with local know-how from those exis­ting markets at a frac­tion of the cost of travel­ling to their count­ries before you have estab­lished the viabi­lity of an investment.
Hand on Keyboard

Screen sharing and online meeting soft­ware can take your busi­ness to a new level, as it allows you to hire and train the best staff for the job. By hiring free­lan­cers or remote workers, you are no longer bound by geogra­phical rest­ric­tions or workers’ commutes. It is conve­nient, affordable, ensures you find a profes­sional that best meets your needs, and gets the job done.

Discus­sion: Online trai­ning is beco­ming incre­asingly more popular with compa­nies and employees alike, thanks to the bene­fits above. Do you train your staff online? We’d love to hear about your expe­ri­ences and results in comm­ents, below. 

Please stay tuned for our follow-up article with infor­ma­tion on how to train your employees online.

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