Face-to-face or remote training?

With the return to the office and the ‘new normal’ of hybrid working, we have seen the reintroduction of face-to-face training. However remote courses, which enable people to be trained virtually have remained popular, with people expecting both types of training to be available. For corporate training there is no extra travelling required by employees, for either face-to-face or remote training. You can choose your own date and time, and the content can be delivered in either format.

So, what are the differences between the two learning options?

Preference. The main criterium for choosing face-to-face or remote training is based on people’s concentration level, preferred style of interaction, the learning environment and their digital knowledge, or simply, some people just prefer one learning format to another.

Focus. People’s attention span varies. Some people concentrate better when they have someone speaking physically in front of them, whilst others find it easier to follow if they’re listening though their computer. 

Interaction. When doing face-to-face training, your employees can communicate verbally and using body language. According to Albert Mehrabian*, psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, communication is 7% words, 38% intonation and 55% through body language.

Comparatively, remote training offers two ways to communicate - verbally and digitally, with the latter option enabling attendees to type in their questions, answer online polls, click on hyperlinks, etc. However, for verbal communication, body language can be lost if the camera is turned off or the angle is not right.

Environment. Some people prefer face-to-face because of the classroom teaching atmosphere, where they can speak to their peers, or they can raise their hand to ask questions from the trainer during presentations.

Remote training imitates all this virtually, providing a digital medium for people to interact in different ways, including getting the attention of the trainer if they have any questions. 

Digitally savvy. For face-to-face, most of the technical part, setting up the presentation, is done by the trainer and you just need to bring along your laptop to make notes. Comparatively, for remote training, all participants have to join a virtual meeting, which might be challenging if they are not so familiar with the programme, they might miss out on the full experience such as using the full range of interactive tools. 

Also, some people are not fond of using technology in general and would rather use it at a minimum if possible, thus preferring the face-to-face alternative.

So, face-to-face or remote training?

All CIBSE Training courses are available in both formats. Discover your corporate training opportunities or request a quote

*The 7-38-55 rule is a concept concerning the communication of emotions. The rule states that 7% of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language. It was developed by psychology professor Albert Mehrabian at the University of California, Los Angeles, who laid out the concept in his 1971 book Silent Messages.


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