Rethinking Work

The current pandemic has forced us to rethink many aspects of our lives. This rethinking includes the very nature of work. How can we effectively connect to each other while wearing facemasks and social distancing are the norm? How can we collaborate effectively when we can’t simply jump to a whiteboard or walk down the hall to chat with a colleague? How can we find the right talent when we are not able to meet and interview candidates in person?

A few short decades ago, the challenges we are currently facing in the workplace would have been overwhelming. But advances in technology have made it possible to continue to connect, communicate, organize, and stay productive. Everyone is just a click or tap away, and information flows freely through Internet-connected devices and cloud-based software. We are finding new ways to organize ourselves around our work, and we are testing basic assumptions we’ve held for so long.

Although maintaining human connections is important, perhaps we’ve put too much value in physical presence. Maybe it’s more important to focus on the best combination of talent to tackle a challenge than being able to get everyone into the same office. Perhaps we’ve put too much emphasis on workforce stability and employee retention, and missed opportunities for talent to flow dynamically into and out of organizations as needs change. We may look back at the sheer amount of travel we used to do, and wonder why we didn’t more vigorously question its value and environmental impact.

Training and development is a great example. Liberated from the expectation that you have to “go somewhere” to learn a new skill or certification, learning can now be more dynamic, continuous, and tailored to individual needs. The learning process can adapt to individuals rather than the other way around. Software-based learning systems can be instrumented to accurately analyze the effectiveness of the content and delivery, and the LMS can be optimized over time in a way that traditional methods struggle to do.

At Acendre, we’re taking a continuous learning approach to everything we do, including how we teach customers about our own learning management system, Inquisiq. We recently reconfigured our free trial experience that allows customers to try out the software on their own at their convenience. We developed the product trial based on the many years of collective knowledge we have guiding customers through the product with hands-on demos. We recognized the fact that an interactive guided demo is quite different than the process of learning about our LMS on your own, and we knew that we weren’t going to solve for all the places where the process could get confusing. We built instrumentation into the trial learning paths to help us identify and respond to areas where the experience could be improved. Our goal is to have the trial experience improve continuously over time so that everyone can quickly and easily understand what Inquisiq can help them do.

Regardless of when things go back to “normal” – whatever that means – it is unlikely that we will revert back to the pre-pandemic ways of working. And that’s a good thing. An internet-connected world with the right tools used the right way can help us eliminate mountains of friction and inefficiency, and let us focus more on the things that truly matter.

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