E-Learning Ergonomics in a Pandemic World

Posted by Alison Heller-Ono on July 28, 2020

Online Ergonomics Training Offers Substantial Benefits

The pandemic in America has deeply changed our work lives  Unfortunately, many people have become unemployed, others work tirelessly as they are essential to our daily lives. For those who are fortunate enough to continue to work most likely do so from home. 

COVID-19 has caused a significant and rapid paradigm shift which has resulted in rapid innovation and change in how we work, how we communicate and how we learn. It has thrust e-Learning into the forefront. 

This especially applies for remote workers. For this reason, e-Learning home-office ergonomics is an essential component of onboarding remote workers and training current workers! 

Ergonomics is not Intuitive

Understanding how to set up and adjust one’s workstation is not intuitive. Employees must be taught how to do so. E-learning is the easiest and most cost-effective way to engage employees in ergonomics training teaching them self-correction, self-care and self-responsibility.

Deciding whether to provide live training or use online e-learning is a choice many employers grapple with when it comes to training delivery preferences. However, in today's climate, we must choose e-learning!

There are so many advantages of delivering ergonomics training online learning compared to traditional classroom training. The benefits are immense for remote workers, multiple shifts or global sites in different time zones that make it impractical for live training, anyway.

Advantages of Learning Office Ergonomics Online

At least 77% of US companies offer online learning in their professional development programs (Roland Berger, 2014). Based on the growth in Zoom users, this is likely even greater today!

While an upfront investment is necessary, the ROI can be 50-60% greater than traditional training, which, if done properly, can itself have a 4x return on investment (Boggs, 2015).

In Michael Allen’s Guide to e-Learning: Building Interactive, Fun and Effective Learning Programs for Any Company, he discusses ten strategic and tactical employee and organizational benefits every employer should know about online learning:

  1. Web-based training is a powerful instrument for consistently developing a global labor force..
  2. Web-based training can be used to provide needed instruction without taking workers away from their daily responsibilities.
  3. Online learning overcomes the obstacles imposed by a transient workforce; and the flex-place, work anywhere worker.
  4. The use of contingent workers, such as temporary, consultants, part-timers, and others, have increased dramatically over the last decade. E-learning solutions and web-based learning management systems are invaluable tools to train and manage this unique labor force.
  5. Web-based training programs that offer certifications, college, and graduate school education, and important job enhancing skills are powerful incentives to retain goal-oriented and driven workers.
  6. Training of all kinds, including e-Learning programs, increase employee knowledge and skill level. They become better at their jobs, which makes them more productive and efficient, contributing to bottom line profits.
  7. The ability to access training anywhere, any time, and any place around the globe gives tremendous flexibility to learning across multiple electronic devices.
  8. There are reduced travel and related costs as a result of employees not having to travel for traditional onsite training and courses.
  9. e-Learning drastically reduces per-student costs as the setup investment is relatively low, and many courses can be viewed over and over or asynchronously.
  10. Web-based training is “just in time” learning. Employees can take it just before they need it, rather than enrolling weeks or months before they need the training or refresher class.
There are many other benefits to online ergonomics training, such as:
  • Uniformly delivered course material in a consistent framework.
  • Quickly and easily update course material to reduce lag time and printing costs.
  • Efficiently customize training to meet the training objectives of a specific program
  • Offer small group interactive coaching and or one: one mentorship
  • Provided guided practice leading to independent performance based on course design
And most importantly, students can learn at a pace that works for their individual learning preferences and life circumstances. Online learning is a great way to ensure greater participation, engagement, and adoption.

Is Training the Right Solution?

Before investing in ergonomics training, make sure it will meet your needs. Ask yourself if training is the right solution for the business problem you are trying to solve. Consider if it will:

  • Impact the employees that really need it
  • Be mandatory or voluntary
  • Help employees implement the recommended changes
  • Accurately reflect the message you need delivered
  • Create greater accountability
  • Provide the results you are looking for
  • Be utilized in the manner anticipated

Who Should Participate in (Home) Office Ergonomics Training?

Everyone... that includes anyone who uses a computer or laptop for any length of time; sets up a computer or purchases equipment to support computers. A successful ergonomics e-Learning program identifies the business problem you want the training to resolve.  So, if employees are complaining about their chairs, invite the people who purchased the chairs. If employees have difficulty with monitor, keyboard and mouse placement, invite the IT team who set up the workstations.

Look beyond employees. Include your supervisors, IT, facilities, and purchasing all who have a vital role in your (remote) ergonomics program. If they don’t participate in training, then your program could be in jeopardy of failing. Training puts everyone on the same page. To not know and understand ergonomics is a failure of leadership. Don’t pass that on to your employees.

Whether live or online, ergonomics must be an organizational priority for it to be successful and for employees to achieve the expected learning outcomes. For best results, e-Learning ergonomics is something everyone needs to know and understand especially in today’s remote working world. And that includes your children. Afterall, you can't hold people accountable to the things they don't know or understand!


Work@Home Ergonomics Virtual Training


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