The pandemic has ushered in a wave of remote and hybrid learning and working that is transforming the realms of business and education. Employers and K-12 schools as well as institutions of higher learning have had to embrace the virtual world as a principal form of interaction for the last several months. Now that people are slowly returning to work and school, this is transitioning to a hybrid form with students and employees both at home and in person. As learners, educators, employees, and employers are discovering the benefits to this transformation, we can expect to see varying degrees of both remote and hybrid models take hold into the future.
Hybrid learning had already been trending in education pre-pandemic but is now taking hold. The advantages are plenty as students and educators can participate remotely from anywhere in the world, no longer limiting accessibility by location. Virtual learning also allows for flipped classrooms where students can participate in online instruction and then utilize information learned to engage in in-person activities. If students are ill, they can continue to learn from home even if they were previously only learning in a brick and mortar setting. Potential university students can visit campuses via virtual guided tours while asking questions in real-time.
According to a survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR), the percentage of workers worldwide who are permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021. The survey indicates that productivity has increased with 48.6% of more than 1,000 CIO’s that were interviewed reporting that productivity has improved since implementing remote working, while only 28.7% indicating a decline in productivity. Employees have also seen benefits in that their schedules have allowed more flexibility and those who previously spent hours in traffic getting to and from work have enjoyed the extra time that virtual meetings have afforded them.
Discovering new technologies and enhancing existing tools that will make collaboration easier, more efficient and more natural will be key to success and to maintaining a competitive edge in this new environment. The world as we know it, will never be the same, but the benefits are plentiful as we venture into the next generation of working and learning together in a post-pandemic era.