In recent times, it has become common for many previously in-person events to be transferred online. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, much health and safety training has moved to remote delivery. During the pandemic, this was out of necessity; however, the allure of being able to facilitate and join a training session from anywhere in the world means that much training is now conducted online.

The typical idea of training involves a professional teacher or trainer physically in front of a group of students, explaining theory or demonstrating some practical element of what the students are trying to learn. This in-person classroom setting allows for students to engage with their teacher/trainer in real time and can allow for plenty of discussion and interaction between the facilitator and the group.

By comparison, remote training can come with some challenges. ASM Group’s Training Division Coordinator Linda Costello, who spent 5 years as a corporate trainer prior to joining ASM, has compiled a list of the top challenges people face whilst being trained remotely, and some ways that these challenges can be alleviated.


“Zoom Fatigue”

Sitting all day in the same position at your desk can be physically uncomfortable. Also, staring at a screen for a prolonged period can be tiring.

It may be useful to get up and stretch whenever opportunity arises, and also communicate with your trainer if you need extra short breaks. Some instructors build mini breaks into the training (i.e. 5 minutes per hour) to give people a chance to rest their eyes/stretch.

If you find it difficult to concentrate sitting in one position in front of your computer during a training, talk to your trainer. They may suggest solutions such as periodically turning your camera off for 5 minutes every hour so that you can stand up and stretch whilst simply listening to the training.



Remote training can be difficult if it is conducted at home, as there are plenty of opportunities for distraction. It can also be difficult to focus if you are completing a training for work but are at home, especially if you are accustomed to leaving home to go to work.

Some things you can do to help keep you from getting distracted whilst completing training remotely include setting up a dedicated space for the day where you can work undisturbed and free from distraction (no training at the kitchen table!).

Consider using or investing in headphones so that your learning won’t be impacted by outside noise.

If learning from home isn’t an option and the training you are undertaking is required by your employer, consider booking a meeting room for the day (in your workplace if possible). If you are training from home, it’s helpful to dress for work, even though you are not going into the office. This can help get you into a more focused mindset.

It’s also important not to view remote training as an opportunity to complete work responsibilities and receive training at the same time. That is to say, don’t try and respond to work emails or calls while you are in training. You won’t be getting the full benefit out of the training you are attending.


Technical Issues

Poor internet connection and device incompatibility with online conferencing software can really hinder the ability to complete training remotely. Every training provider should give you joining instructions prior to a remote training, such as what kind of device to use, and what conferencing software you are using i.e. Zoom, Microsoft Teams.

It is helpful to test opening webinar links on the device you plan to use for the training a day or two before a course, so that any potential technical issues can be alleviated prior to the training commencing.

Once the training has started, it can be difficult to get technical issues resolved as the instructor is under a time constraint to cover course material and you don’t want to be left behind.

If you know your internet connection is poor, consider using a meeting room at your workplace as described above. If that is not an option, try setting up a mobile hotspot on your phone. This can help bypass poor broadband connectivity, but bear in mind that this could be costly depending on your phone plan, and you might be in a poor location for remote training no matter what device you use.

For remote training, also make sure you have a working camera and microphone, especially if you are undertaking any training approved by an accredited body, for instance, IOSH. An instructor has to ensure you are present on the call and have undertaken the full training, which cannot be done if both your camera and microphone are inactive or broken.

Make sure you join from an appropriate device. If you know there will be an assessment at the end of the training, it is usually better to join the call from a computer or laptop instead of a tablet or phone, as exams are not always optimized for mobile devices, and it may be difficult to submit your assessment.



With classroom training, an instructor can look to non-verbal cues to tell whether someone is confused, potentially struggling with material, or if people need a break. With remote training, it’s often much harder to pick up these non-verbal communication cues to understand how people are feeling.

It is important, therefore, to let your instructor know when you don’t understand something, if you need something to be explained again, or if you need an extra break. If you don’t wish to alert the instructor to any potential issues in front of the group, familiarize yourself with the ‘chat’ option. In most conferencing software solutions such as Zoom, this allows you to send private messages to the instructor. Please remember, however, to mute yourself while you are typing, as typing whilst your microphone is unmuted can be very loud for other participants!


Remote Training Etiquette

Ideally, remote training should be as seamless a learning experience as possible for everyone. However, there are some small housekeeping items to consider when participating in online training.

If you are using a headset with a microphone, make sure to mute yourself when you are not talking as headset mics tend to pick up a lot of breathing noises.

Similarly, if you are eating or typing, keep yourself muted. External noise can be extremely distracting to both the trainer and the participants so please be mindful of your microphone and communicate with your instructor if there is an issue with someone in the group.

Often instructors will reiterate general housekeeping rules to participants without singling out anyone, and will discuss issues with individuals causing distractions should these problems persist.



Staying engaged whilst spending a prolonged period on a remote training call can be challenging. This can be a particular problem if the training is delivered for multiple days online.

A good remote training should have plenty of opportunities for engagement and discussion, including the use of breakout rooms and group activities. To make the most out of the remote training experience, we’d advise you participate in these activities as much as you can to make the training as interesting as possible.

Engaging in group discussion encourages the sharing of knowledge and insights. You never know what you might learn from a discussion in a training, that you might not otherwise have known by just following the presentation and workbook.

While effective training, either remote or in-person, should include the use of examples, often group discussions give people a chance to share their lived experiences related to a particular training topic, which can serve to ground theoretical concepts into the real world. This gives learners a better impression of how the training may be relevant to their day-to-day work life.


Are you looking for remote health and safety training?

Look to ASM Group today. Our team of friendly experts deliver health and safety training of the highest quality, both online and in-person. Whether you need to refresh your knowledge of a specific topic, gain a particular qualification in order to operate in your workplace, or you simply want to add value to your C.V., ASM Group can help.