A sudden and radical crisis, that of COVID-19, and the related isolation measures have brought to the forefront a way of working that, although not unprecedented, for many people has been new: smart working. The coronavirus, moreover, has caused a very strong and "sudden" interest in eLearning: those who are not working want to be trained to be prepared for the return to normal; those who are working and are not used to smart working have the immediate need to learn how to use systems and tools at a distance. Not to mention those who have had to temporarily abandon a "traditional" course of study to replace it with one online.
Here are some problems (online and offline) that may arise during these weeks of isolation and some possible solutions:
1. The loneliness of work and remote training
Smart working has become an imperative in a country where, before this emergency, it was actually still too little used. Suddenly, terms such as " virtual class" become commonly used. However, remote working does not take place in a normal context, but in one of isolation. Many of the advantages of smart working are not visible at the moment. Also for this reason, many workers forced at home suffer a loneliness: being locked indoors, sometimes completely alone, is hard. How to create "social presence"? Video calls become essential, from online classrooms to meetings and virtual meetings with friends, the possibility of seeing other people is essential to reduce loneliness. If balconies and windows are back to being a social square, this possibility is greatly enhanced by the use of different platforms, from chats to social networks, with which to communicate with colleagues, friends and classmates. Companies should try to use all the tools available, from forums to social networks to webinars to reproduce that sense of community and proximity that employees and trainees need right now.
2. Organisational difficulties
Suddenly we're working from home and sometimes it's hard to get organized. Even those online courses we had on the agenda aren't so easy to take anymore. On the one hand, each of us needs to reorganize our days, learning to share, but also to separate the spaces with the other inhabitants of the house. On the other hand, we need to maintain, within the limits of possibility, normality. Making a list of things to do, getting dressed, following a routine can help to organize oneself mentally at best. Working and studying online from home does not mean abandoning good habits.
3. Difficulty concentrating
Children study at home, concentration may be scarce, we experience deep concerns for loved ones. Keeping focus at work or studying can seem very difficult. Workers and students should not give in to the temptation to work directly from bed or, on the contrary, work longer hours than necessary. At the same time, however, those who offer online courses have the arduous task of putting in place the best strategies to avoid a constant loss of concentration on the part of workers and students, focusing on gamificationand better communication.
In conclusion, professionals and not in eLearning should remember that we are in an emergency situation and passing through but that, despite everything, from it we can learn new best practices to apply in the
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