While the virtual workspace has had significant impacts on everyone, within the corporate environment it may be fair to say that HR professionals have been particularly affected. As employees were sent home to work in droves, a number of challenges emerged. Fortunately, companies around the globe have been able to quickly pivot to continue to effectively engage with, hire, onboard and educate employees whether on-site or in their homes.
As they’ve made these adjustments, many have turned to technology as an aid to ensure that connections could continue no matter where employees might be located. Class is one prime example of a tool that has proven to provide big benefits to HR professionals as they seek ways to keep employees engaged, connected and productive in virtual and hybrid workspaces.
Here we look at “5 Virtual Workspace Benefits Your HR Team Will Love.”
1. Training in Hybrid Workspaces
One of the obvious ways that a virtual workspace like Class can serve the HR function is to facilitate online training for on-site and remote employees. Whether synchronous or asynchronous, Class offers a wide range of capabilities to make training engaging, interactive and effective.
Marian Stoltz-Loike, PhD, is the vice president of online education at Touro College in New York. She recommends some creative ways to make training more engaging with virtual workspace software like Class.
- Create team assignments. Have employees who are both remote and on-site work together on a project and report out on their progress and results. This builds team spirit and collaboration, Stoltz-Loike says.
- Spend five minutes at the beginning of meetings to share ideas. Consider incorporating add-on tools and apps like Padlets, Stoltz-Loike suggest.
- Reinforce successes. Talk about what a group or several individuals did that showed mastery of materials. “Learners appreciate being acknowledged and it may motivate other employees to put in extra time to receive those kinds of kudos,” Stoltz-Loike, says.
- Reinforce employee presence. “Polls or games can be used that enable presenters to interact with employees during training, Stoltz-Loike says. “They also promote employee engagement by involving them in the class in real-time.”
- Embed quizzes in videos. Quizzes “ensure that employees have understood video content and reflect engagement with course content,” Stoltz-Loike says. She points to tools like PlayPosit, NearPod or EdPuzzle to do this.
For asynchronous training needs, Class can be used to easily record, store and share materials ranging from presentations to group interactions and more. Invite experts from anywhere to share their perspectives for distribution to staff who may be working on-site or remotely. Use live delivery to engage learners in a variety of ways: through lectures, breakout groups, video sharing, polls and assessments, and more.
But Class also supports a wide array of business needs beyond online training.
2. Connecting On-site and Remote Employees
As many employees continue to work from home, and most organizations are recognizing that they will likely be operating in a hybrid work model moving forward, Class offers options for connecting employees across an array of locations— from wherever they happen to be.
This flexibility provides the opportunity to ensure that remote staff members don’t feel out of the loop and to connect them with on-site peers, managers and others. It also offers the ability to connect with customers and vendors. Class can easily be used for scheduled interactions as well as impromptu discussions. It’s easy to use, readily accessible from desktop, laptop or mobile devices, and extremely user-friendly
3. Encouraging Collaborative Sharing and Ensuring Teamwork
Whether fully remote, or in a hybrid work schedule, many employees are missing the ability to interact with others. And, while meetings have often been a scapegoat for grumbling about wasted time, HR professionals and managers know that meetings, virtual or on-site, are an integral part of the business environment and necessary to share information and keep people up to date.
Class provides the ability to get groups of staff members together, both those who are remote and those who are on-site.
4. Keeping Employees Engaged
Class is a perfect tool for combating feelings of isolation and stress that may come with working from home. Thinking of creative ways to call groups together for social, rather than purely business, activities can help keep employees engaged, promote teamwork and build strong bonds even when employees are physically separated.
Janice Litvin is a SHRM recertification provider, workplace wellness speaker, and author of the new book, Banish Burnout Toolkit. She offers some simple ideas that could easily be put into practice using Class:
- IMPROVisation. “Not only is improv extremely fun, but it instills better listening skills and creates a united atmosphere,” she says. Consider hiring a professional improv facilitator to lead improv games.
- Name That TV Theme Song. Participants guess the TV theme song from various decades. Attendees answer in the chat. The first to guess can win extra points if they can sing the song.
- Group lunch. Send your employees a gift card to their favorite restaurants and include a free delivery option, Litvin suggests. “Then gather together to eat and chat casually about any fun popular topics, like books, movies, or online ballet.”
- Games. Litvin suggests CrowdControlGames.com as a great add-on tool to facilitate a number of different games including Quiz Show (Jeopardy-type game), Crowd Scavenger Hunt, and The Feud (like Family Feud).
Adding some fun into the mix can be a good way to combat employee stress and feelings of isolation. It’s also a great way to build bonds that will be in place long after employees are able to work together in person again.
5. Staying in Touch
Stoltz-Loike points out that “in today’s business environment, it is more common to interact through a screen than in person, even if coworkers are at the same site.” Providing employees with the tools and resources they need to work most effectively in remote settings and to effectively collaborate with colleagues in a hybrid workplace is critical both today and into the future.
Class is the go-to tool for busy HR professionals focused on bringing employees together with a virtual workspace, even when separated by time and place.