The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward remote work, and many companies have shifted to a fully or partially remote workforce. While remote work has many benefits and hybrid working is often preferred by employees (due to the flexibility it brings), it can also pose new health and safety challenges. For example, these can include such as ergonomic issues, increased stress, dissatisfactory working setup, and burnout.
To ensure that remote workers are protected and healthy, it is essential to provide them with adequate health and safety training. In this article, we will explore innovative approaches to health and safety training for remote workers.
Virtual Reality Training
Virtual reality (VR) simulations can be an effective way to provide interactive and engaging health and safety training to remote workers. VR simulations can provide a realistic and immersive experience, allowing remote workers to practice and master important health and safety skills in a controlled environment. For example, the training could simulate an appropriate working-from-home setup, and the user has to choose the most appropriate setup. They can then go away and evaluate their own home office space.
According to Oberon Technologies, ‘the return on investment after a year after a VR training session can be as much as 80%, in comparison to 20% after a week of traditional training’. Therefore, the use of virtual reality training even in a remote location will have a greater impact than traditional methods, increasing the effectiveness of the training.
It’s clear that the use of virtual reality can help ensure that employees are receiving the same standard of training as they would in the workplace.
Self-paced online courses can be a convenient way for remote workers to complete health and safety training on their own schedule. Especially in a busy work environment, looking at health and safety can often be missed, which will mean employees will not be fully equipped with the skills needed if a health situation were to arise, both at home and in the workplace. We recommend IOSH and NEBOSH courses.
Courses can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, and some can be completed at the worker’s own pace. Employees working at their own pace can have a positive impact on the employee’s learning because they can choose when is the most appropriate time to undertake their training. They may not feel as overwhelmed because a whole day’s training course won’t be conflicting with their daily tasks.
Incorporating game elements into health and safety training can make it more enjoyable and memorable for remote workers. Gamification can also increase engagement and motivation, leading to better retention of information and improved health and safety outcomes.
For example, the employee could take part in an interactive game that helps them to look at a fire exit or what to do if an employee cuts their finger on work equipment, it’s more likely to be memorable if this situation were to occur.
Animated and interactive videos can be an effective way to explain complex health and safety concepts to remote workers. The video could show a real-life example of a health and safety situation where the employee needs to take action, both in the workplace and at home. The video could show multiple actions and the employee needs to choose which decision they would like to make.
These videos can be designed to be engaging, informative, and interactive, making it easier for remote workers to understand and remember important health and safety information.
Encouraging remote workers to engage in group discussions and collaborate on health and safety training tasks can increase engagement and knowledge retention. This could be done over a group online call. Collaborative learning can also foster a sense of community among remote workers and promote a culture of health and safety in the workplace. Employees can also build friendships too!
Overall, it’s clear there are many different innovative approaches to health and safety training for remote workers, which is only going to create a safer environment both at home as well as in the office.