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Returning to Work - hybrid model

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The question was posted by Devila on 23/03/2021 15:31:31

Hi, I've been asked to think about the future of training once everyone starts returning back to work. We expect that some people will still work from home and others choose to come into the office and I envisage this to be the new norm. Has anyone given any thought to how they would manage training when the workshop is to be delivered both virtually and in-person at the same time? Anyone know of a good balanced solution so everyone is engaged and participating? Thanks in advance.

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This article may be useful, hope it helps!
Hi Julie, feel free to email me on [email protected] and I am happy to arrange a call to share how it worked. Regards, Carolyn
Carolyn, I am really interested in your experience with one virtual learner in a room with others. This is an option I would love to explore more.
Thank you everyone for sharing. I have delivered in the hybrid way too and it was challenging to keep those on the laptop engaged (especially if they didn't want to turn on cameras) as we tend to gravitate and talk to those we can physically see the room. I had to keep prompts around the room to remind me to check in with the virtual group to see if they had any questions. I think it would be easier if co-delivering as one person could also monitor the virtual group to keep them engaged and give the facilitator prompts should questions arise. Devila
Hi Devila As a lucky New Zealander we are currently 'back to normal' since June last year and for the most part people are back in the office. However we are finding more people are working from home working 1 or 2 days a week. We have also had short sharp lockdowns with the last one in early March so had to pivot with less than 24 hours notice. Our leadership programme was launched in a 'normal' environment however we choose to use Zoom to deliver. If people decide to gather in a meeting room - they still need to log individually into zoom for chat or discussion and then for the breakout rooms they are our grouped together. This pandemic has taught us to always allow for plan B. We have an induction coming up for our Grads and they are spread across 3 offices. We will be doing a mix of national and locally led sessions to deliver. When it's a national led session, we have MS teams within all meetings rooms so all offices can see and interact with the facilitator. Our plan B is if we go into lockdown again then every session needs to work virtually. It comes down to good instructional design and what outcomes you are trying to achieve. With such advancements in technology you can have a true blended learning experience. Michelle
What a great question! I too would be interested to hear what others might suggest. This approach will certainly challenge trainers and great facilitation will be needed. I have had a situation where 3 delegates ended up around one laptop, with everyone else dialing in separately, and that was problematic on many levels, not least of all the 'side' conversations that were happening between the 3 that the other participants weren't privvy too. I agree with Nicola that keeping it all virtual is fair to everyone. I'm continuing with virtual blended programmes; 3 x workshops conducted online and inbetween those monthly sessions participants Buddy up together (face to face or virtually) on additional activities. This gives the face to face element that some will crave - and it is easy enough to pair people up according to location if you want to. Moving forwards, I intend to continue with this approach and, in parallel, offer outdoor Equine Assisted Team Building sessions where teams can re-gel and work on their purpose in a safe, outdoor environment that also connects the group with nature. Personally, I think we will eventually see a rise in outdoor events like this.
Hi Devila, I'll be keen to see what other people think about this. During lockdown I've been running sessions where some people were in a meeting room and others at home. It was really challenging due to sound and vision problems and mixing of breakouts was difficult as had to be those working from home and those in the office. The best we had was everyone using their own laptop in the office, for visual purposes, but only one person off mute or else there was echo and feedback, so some people were quite quiet with their responses. It was actually easier to have everyone at home! Look forward to seeing ideas from others.
Same as Carolyn, we used to have large tv monitors set up in the training room and those that couldn't join face to face would join by conferencing facilities. It does make it that bit harder as a trainer as you need to monitor the screen and fully include them and concentrate on the room. Personally, if I had a mix I would think of staying virtual as it makes it fair to all, unless there are disabilities you need to account for. I am now using captions linked to zoom to help. But that doesn't cover every scenario
Hi Devila, Interesting question! I delivered a course where one attendee couldn't attend in person (based in Hong Kong). They 'joined' the course via weblink (Zoom) and the laptop was then the 'person'. By that I mean when it came to group work etc, the laptop was moved to different groups so that they could participate in the session. The presentation was shared on the their screen too. This all happened before the lockdowns, so it was quite a basic approach, but it did work and the person felt involved and the rest of the group did not see it as a hindrance. So it can work with a little bit of work and good technology! Definitely think it is something that will be asked for going forward. Thanks for the question!

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