We are busy professionals
If there is one thing that the pandemic taught us is that we don’t have to be on the go constantly. In fact, many of us could not leave home very often due to various restrictions and shutdowns. We found out that we don’t have to go to the office every day. We don’t need to meet with clients in person. We don’t need to jump on an airplane and spend hours commuting to our destination. And yet, we managed – actually we thrived.
We adapted. We found that there was another way of conducting business that in many ways was superior to what we had been doing. The traditional business model was in for a major paradigm shift.
We learned that we can have more balance in our lives. We actually can be in two places at once – at work with our colleagues and at home with the family or familiar, comfortable surroundings. We could do both. Zoom meetings and other forms of teleconferencing made it possible.
The new model of class attendance
Some of us are still working outside the home – especially OTs, PTs, and other healthcare professionals – but many of us are working a reduced office schedule or maintaining a total work-at-home scenario. In fact, “WFH” (work-from-home) has become a common acronym that is used in articles and advertising.
That said, we have learned how to maintain a professional presence and conduct our work activities from home – including continuing education and conferences with clients and colleagues.
Therefore, we want and expect that continuing education opportunities or new techniques that we might want to learn be available to us in some type of online format – YouTube, Zoom meetings, other instructional or tutorial videos, or various additional platforms (GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and others).
As our offices have shut down for various periods of time forcing us to work from home, and various retail outlets, hotel facilities, and eateries have reduced their capacities and availability. finding dependable meeting locations also is an issue that is easily solved or sidestepped by having online educational classes. Situation resolved!
To attend an in-person class away from our home, but within daily commuting distance from our home (the same city or a nearby location) means traveling to that location – finding the route to drive (or taking an Uber or Lyft), allowing sufficient time to get to the location without being anxious about running late or encountering traffic delay issues, finding a place to park (sometimes quite easy and other times more challenging), and entering a facility not knowing exactly what to expect in terms of the layout, lighting, temperature, or degree of comfort. Then, we either take a lunch and snack with us or look for and locate suitable places to eat near the venue
At the end of the day, we repeat the driving process back to our home. Often this takes longer due to the time of day and the number of other people trying to get back to their homes. Certainly, anxiety can be increased just because of the number of cars on the road, being alert to the actions of other drivers, and wishing that we would be home sooner than is going to be the case.
In the case of attending a class away from our immediate area, we have to find a date that works for our work schedule and other commitments such as doctor appointments and family events (birthdays, recitals and performances, ballgames, and special occasions). Then we have to determine if we will drive or fly to that location. If we want to fly, we have to research ticket options and make a decision. Now, there is no turning back. Then, we make a hotel reservation, sometimes with a non-refundable deposit.
An online class avoids all of these issues.
Rather than concerning ourselves with finding a class date and location that when we want it and also close to where we are or in a place we can get to easily (or a place we wanted to visit anyway), we simply show up on our sofa, easy chair, recliner, or at the kitchen table, island, or our desk, seated in front of our tablet, smartphone, desktop computer, or notebook/laptop. People have even taken the classes (entirely or partially) in their cars. This is about as flexible as it can get, and someone can arrive in as little time as moments before the class begins.
Having a bad hair day? It’s unlikely we would notice, but wearing headgear is permissible. Shirt a little wrinkled? There again, we probably wouldn’t notice/ This takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of our getting ready to attend the classes. The same is true if we have a last-minute family situation to deal with or something involving our pets.
Speaking of family and pets, we don’t have to leave or abandon them for the day while we take a class. We are free to check in on them as needed, and often they make unannounced appearances on-camera. All perfectly fine.
Try the online CAPS, Universal Design Essentials, Beyond Your CAPS, or other programs I offer in this manner. There is no reason to return to the more difficult method of attending classes in person, even when they are available.