In just two years, close to 40 million Americans are projected to be working from home full-time. As of this year, nearly half of the world’s professionals work entirely remotely or adopt a hybrid office model. While employees embrace this shift, there’s no denying that professional collaboration has transformed significantly — and professionals around the world have had to adopt the necessary solutions to adapt.
This continuously evolving remote and hybrid landscape underscores the critical importance of consistent online training for AV technology integration partners. What was once considered a nice-to-have option has evolved into a must-have tool for survival in a hybrid world where we can count on constant change. The more businesses invest in training resellers, integrators, and distributors, the greater their return on investment.
The Progression of Professional Development in AV
The AV landscape has undergone a remarkable evolution over the past five years, and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace driven by technological advancements that reshape how we interact with information and communicate with one another.
Across video conferencing, unified communications, and more, the constant influx of new software and hardware tools ensures that integrators and AV professionals almost constantly need to learn about new products, systems, and tools to ensure they provide clients and end-users with the most apt and up-to-date technology possible.
The professionals that make up the AV landscape play a pivotal role in connecting disparate technologies and solutions to create seamless, efficient systems. Traditionally, their success relied on physical interactions, on-site training, and face-to-face meetings. However, with 16 percent of companies operating fully remotely, the global pandemic accelerated the shift toward a hybrid world, emphasizing the need for a new approach to training and collaboration. To date, nearly 60 percent of workers claim they would look for a new job if remote work was no longer an option.
Training has long been viewed as an optional expense in many businesses. However, the requirements of hybrid work have rewritten the rules. Training is no longer a mere checkbox; it has become a crucial practice for organizations to maintain in order to remain competitive. The benefits are endless and become increasingly compelling as new innovations hit the market, busy sales seasons continue to put pressure on teams, and hybrid work remains a steadfast trend.
Beat Out the Competition With Online Training
Technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed, and integration partners must keep pace with these changes to remain competitive. Accessible virtual training allows them to update their skill sets while staying informed about the latest technology in the residential AV industry. This includes the latest in USB and Bluetooth speakerphones, wide-angle tracking ePTZ cameras, and other plug-and-play professional-grade audio, conferencing, and collaboration solutions for a professional home office.
Providing online courses that develop professional skills ensures that employees are well-versed in the most efficient methods and tools available — enhancing efficiency and productivity. This, in turn, translates into streamlined processes, reduced errors, and faster project completion times, ultimately leading to greater customer satisfaction and profitability.
Additionally, the global pandemic exposed the vulnerability of businesses that were unprepared for sudden disruptions. Continued education can help integration partners build resilience by fostering a culture of adaptability. When teams are well-trained, they can pivot quickly in response to unforeseen challenges, ensuring business continuity even in the face of adversity.
Customers have come to demand seamless and secure integrations that enable quick adoption of remote or hybrid work. Integrators can leverage online training courses to help deliver on this expectation, while also enhancing trust. Customers are more likely to choose partners who invest in their own expertise and can demonstrate a commitment to providing top-notch solutions.
Online training is not just effective; it’s also cost-efficient. It eliminates the need for extensive travel, physical training facilities, and printed materials. AV businesses can scale their training programs easily, reaching a wider audience without significantly increasing costs.
Related: Rethinking Specialty Training
At ClearOne, we have prioritized training and have invested in free live webinars for our global integration partners. Via ClearOne University, we have seen first-hand how the benefits of accessible, relevant industry training impact AV businesses and professional development.
In these times of rapid change, investment in professional development and training is a strategic imperative, ensuring that businesses and professionals thrive in a dynamic and evolving landscape. It’s not just a matter of keeping pace; it’s about setting the pace and shaping the future of the residential AV industry.
Terry Mathis is a technical trainer at ClearOne, based in Fredericksburg, VA.