The Era of the Remote Worker
The era of the remote worker is here to stay. With it comes new responsibilities for all employers who are pivoting to remote work as a corporate strategy. In the last year, many have had to make the change from the office to working from home whether we had a home office or not.
Employees have made do with what employers provided them. Typically, a laptop, an additional monitor and maybe a few other items. Many use their kitchen table and chair, dining area, sit on the couch or in the bedroom to do their work.
One thing for sure is the ergonomics you worked hard to provide in the office have not transferred to working at home.
Corporate Office Setup is Not the Same as Home Office Setup
Based on a survey by NULAB, out of 856 people working remotely:
- 40% of them aren't even working from a dedicated desk.
- 20% of people are working from the living room.
- 30% are working from the master bedroom.
- 60% were unable to bring equipment from the employer.
- One-third admit to personally purchasing equipment from their own pockets to help them work remotely.
Even though this is a small group of people, it means your employees most likely are not working safely and in comfort with good ergonomics. The best way to correct their work postures, environment, and habits is through digital online learning. Digital learning is our new reality for all companies.
Shopping for Digital Learning in Ergonomics
Employers are realizing their responsibilities to support home office employees with safety, ergonomics, and wellness training at home. Meeting employees where they are by providing digital online ergonomics training, remote evaluation and coaching support and the right equipment is essential.
Shopping for and buying the ergonomics training services from a qualified and competent ergonomics expert to deliver your message of care and concern online is a big part of the equation.
If you are shopping for corporate e-learning services, determine the following criteria first:
- Do you want your training to be a one-time live online event?
- Do you prefer your training to be customized for your organization?
- Do you want to have ongoing access to the training for people who are in different time zones or who can’t attend live, or for onboarding of new employees?
- How long do you want the training to be?
- What is your budget or price range per person you want to spend?
- Do you want to include after event services such as a Q&A session with the ergonomist, individual remote coaching or evaluations or support with your remote ergonomics process?
- Do you have senior leadership buy-in?
Essential Tips for Online Learning Ergonomics
The design of the training you select is the most important decision you will make. The training you select should not just be an information only session, but it should offer guided practice resulting in independent action by employees to change how they work. Consider the subject matter expertise, content and the quality information to stimulate interest from your employees.
Based on learning principles from Gagne and Driscoll, in the book, Course Design Formula by Rebecca Cuevas, training should result in transformative learning. As with any training, the results should be measurable and profound resulting in a change in behavior that is persistent. This means employees will be able to embrace ergonomics concepts to apply at home resulting in self-correction and the elimination of common concerns. True teaching occurs when a behavioral change truly occurs.
Don’t Focus on Price Alone
Many employers shop for ergonomics training based on price alone. This is a mistake. Price is typically a reflection of quality, expertise, and value. The concept, “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to online courses. Consider the expertise of the trainer, the subject matter expertise, the quality of the content, the learning portal used, and the information to stimulate interest from your employees.
To be the most effective, online teaching is really a series of events or learning criteria that leads the participant to an outcome or behavioral change.
Nine Ergonomics Course Learning Criteria:
- The course design should get their attention and be of interest to them with a strong compelling reason to participate.
- The learning objectives are stated up front so the learner knows what behavioral change will result from the training.
- Establish up front what the learner already knows about the topic before the teacher begins to teach.
- The instruction includes verbal information in small amounts of text with relevant graphics in context to student’s interest.
- The training offers guided practice with a coach, expert or uses gamification, where the student can interact with the coach.
- The training facilitates practice of new concepts by the student.
- Feedback by students or teacher is included.
- A way to assess the achieved learning objectives is provided.
- Students demonstrate the transfer of learning to their lives.
Give Learners Time to Learn
Learning ergonomics takes time, especially if the content is new. I have been teaching corporate ergonomics for over 28 years and it is always new to most students. Some have attended prior trainings, but none like what we deliver. This is because we follow the above ergonomics course learning criteria known as the nine events of instruction. Our students are guided and then transformed from our courses. I have seen it over and over.
If you are shopping for ergonomics training, look beyond price and the length of the course! These are important aspects of your decision, but students benefit from immersive learning. Set your expectations higher for your employees. Don’t just check the box you offered ergonomics training for 30 minutes. Value the importance of ergonomics. Make sure the content is relevant to your objectives, your organization's culture and policies. Encourage all employees to attend and participate. Reward completion. Expect transformation.
To learn more about our exceptional digital ergonomics training programs for corporate use that follow the nine learning events, check out our corporate and professional trainings in the Worksite International digital course academy. You can request a demo here.
Cuevas, R. F. (2019). Course design formula: How to teach anything to anyone online. Riverside, CA: Learn and Get Smarter.