Reliable technology is the backbone of digital upskilling

A man working on a laptop in his kitchen and checking his smartphone.
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Digital transformation is happening at a faster pace than ever, spurred on to a new level by the Covid-19 pandemic, and companies are increasingly looking to embrace more innovative technologies – from migrating to the cloud to getting a better handle on applying AI to data. In fact, there was a 65% increase in spending on digital and technology initiatives in businesses in 2021.

About the author

Nigel Penny, Head of VC Enterprise Sales, Logitech (opens in new tab).

For this to be successful, having the skilled workforce in place to work with new technology is critical, and employers must provide quality training and development opportunities. The UK government is promoting this kind of advancement too – by putting a big focus on its ‘levelling-up’ agenda and aiming to support UK businesses to offer adult skill development across the country.

To make this type of training successful, employees (opens in new tab) need to be empowered to be proactive, productive and happy in their work – to give them the time to upskill efficiently and effectively. This in turn requires the right technology and tools. Businesses will struggle to give employees a quality learning experience with legacy software and hardware that is slow or complicated to use, and in turn struggle to stay competitive. To combat this, employers need to start investing in intuitive tech that helps employees work smarter – not harder.

Personal devices are the building block

The starting point for organizations to develop a productive, proactive workforce is to offer quality personal devices and hardware. Without a strong base of reliable solutions, such as quality mice, keyboards, webcams (opens in new tab) and tablets for working on the go, employees can’t perform to the best of their ability – and training and upskilling programs run the risk of being time-consuming and ineffective, or not embraced at all.

For example, if remote training sessions are carried out using low-quality personal webcams, they are likely to be unproductive and employees won’t be able to learn and absorb new information clearly. Similarly, if employees are working from home (opens in new tab) without the optimal setup for them – for example, without ergonomic mice or with an uncomfortable chair (opens in new tab) – the quality of their learning experience will be diminished.

Beyond just the learning experience, employee comfort and wellbeing must be a priority to get the best out of employees’ new skills. Giving them the right base to work at their best will help maximize investment into training, and keep business working at the cutting edge of their industry.

Intuitive tech, intuitive training

The next step is to consider how easy peripherals are for employers to embrace and use. Devices that are seamless to start using – for example wireless headsets (opens in new tab) – which have easy onboarding and one-click connections will help employees to work, and embrace learning, without distractions or delay.

In addition to more traditional forms of group and classroom-style learning, there is an increasing move towards organizations investing in on-demand, tailored online learning (opens in new tab) options for employees – which employees carry out on their own devices. Without a trainer or team around them, reducing any possible barriers to engaging with learning is key.

By being able to increase focus and concentration the task at hand, employees will in turn be able to boost their productivity (opens in new tab). Devices can also be designed with this in mind – for example, with mice that have customizable buttons or integrated shortcuts, employees can tailor both their learning experience and how they work with new technology in their day-to-day role to best the most effective for them.

Don’t forget about meeting rooms

The move towards a hybrid working (opens in new tab) model means that meeting rooms also need to be equipped to support training and skill development. It’s likely that even with in-person training sessions, some participants will be joining remotely – and their learning experience must be on par with those in the room.

To achieve this, organizations must invest in conferencing (opens in new tab) systems with high-quality video and audio, as well as more advanced features like being able to zoom and frame participants, and auto correct colour and exposure. Innovative technology like AI viewfinders can even use computer vision to detect participants in a room, allowing the camera to then auto frame and detect participants when they are speaking.

Other innovations, like AI-powered whiteboards, are also coming to the market, and can broadcast whiteboard content into video meetings with perfect clarity and use AI to ‘ghost’ the writer’s hand, so no content is obstructed. This means that remote learners are empowered with the same clear view as those in the room – boosting the quality of their training and upskilling.

As companies continue to put digital transformation plans in place, upskilling employees to work with digital tools will remain an important part of business’ strategy. To make learning programs a success in a hybrid working world, employees need both the time and the technology to focus on upskilling. 

By investing in the right personal working tools and video conferencing (opens in new tab) equipment, employees will have a more productive working experience – and free up time to engage with learning & development. With this kind of seamless, reliable tech, training sessions can also be more effective, and employees will be better able to put their new skills into practice for the long term.

We've featured the best standing desk for home office and WFH (opens in new tab).

Nigel Penny, Head of VC Enterprise Sales, Logitech.