In the first of our series of Anolis Lighting Blogs, this week Jo Harding - Sales Development Director for Anolis UK takes a deeper insight into online learning and development, which has surged during the lockdown period and the importance of CPDs - Continued Personal Development.

 

‘Who’s Zooming Who?’

Exploring the pros and cons of online CPDs and training

Who would have thought that letting customers from the ‘waiting room’ into your online Zoom seminar would become the norm? Working and communicating from home during this global Coronavirus Pandemic has reached a new level of sophistication. From the first tentative nervous steps taken, with online platforms like Zoom and Teams, we (or some of us) underestimated the tools. With IT issues like Wi Fi dropping out, there were certainly a few frustrated meetings hi-jacked by inexperience and some impatience!

This new world is fraught with stress, anxiety and uncertainty as we battle our way through 2020, not always sure what’s next around the corner. But a new sense of community online is enhancing our personal lives and keeping us sane. It’s also facilitating business communication across both national and international divides like never before.

So what are the Pros?

Some research is showing that online learning increases the retention of information. It also takes less time both for attendees and trainer to attend the presentation. Less travel means less carbon emissions-a big factor for consideration.

Other research points to the fact that some attendees are less intimidated in an online presentation or training event. In the comfort of their own homes they are more willing to engage in lively discussions and debates. This should enrichen the overall learning experience.

The flexibility and ease of organising online CPDs mean that audiences can jump onboard without weeks and weeks of organising diaries, finding a slot and then finding out which meeting room might be free.  They can also be delivered time and time again, thus enabling a wider audience and spread of the learning material. So no constraints of geography for this one, as was demonstrated on Monday when Anolis UK delivered our first online CPD ‘Lighting for Architectural and Media Facades’, we were delighted to welcome our partners DWL, from the South Africa office.

Our CPD presentation is CIBSE accredited and this means that, as CIBSE has members internationally (in 2019 CIBSE had 22,000 members in over 100 countries!) these members also need to keep up to date with their CPD activities. Online presentations like ours should go far in facilitating this.

We’ve just sent out feedback forms to gauge reaction, with requested constructive feedback for any improvements. And we could take this further online -back to Zoom possibly or a debate here on LinkedIn-with a forum to develop lighting content and ideas required (by a larger audience hopefully) for the future?

What about the Cons?

The fact that we are relaxed at home may mean that our guard is well and truly down, and we forget to be in workplace mode. After all, we still represent the company we work for and companies pride themselves on the value of their brand -which can take years to build up. Someone sitting in a slightly dirty t-shirt with unbrushed hair is not the image they crave…

But perhaps the biggest issue is that, as humans, we miss and long for the social interaction and other hidden benefits of working together in an office. According to a recent article in the FT by Ravi Mattu, entitled:‘Coronavirus crisis shows office workers what  we’re missing’.  The article talks about how interaction between humans is an essential part of maintaining communities, building healthy relationships and learning how to compromise. Something we can’t easily do online.

Until the time when we can safely return in numbers to our physical offices we can explore and improve the world of online training- building more Zoom and Team communities from our front rooms.

For any further information on the Anolis CPD programme, please contact: info@anolis.co.uk