Online Training vs. Face-to-Face Training: Which Should Companies Use?

by Lalithaa


Over the past decade, online training has come a long way. In the past, it was considered ineffective for training new hires and existing employees due to technological restrictions. However, this has now changed, as online learning has taken over the globe. For example, according to Techjury, 77 percent of US corporations use online learning to train their teams – which is a huge figure. 

Of course, this has led to a hot comparison between online training and face-to-face training.  

Both methods come with advantages and drawbacks, so it’s hardly surprising that some companies are stuck regarding which to use. 

With that said, let’s examine them more closely. 

Online Training: Definition, Advantages, and Drawbacks 

What is Online Training?

Online training (also referred to as e-learning) is training or education that’s conducted over the internet. 

Since 2020, online training has become incredibly popular. Here’s why: 

  • The introduction of smart learning systems, such as the one provided by Thinqi, enable companies to provide personalized online training experiences to the modern employee. Also, management teams can examine learner analytics to identify any problems in the training process. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, where a record 557 million people worked from home back in 2020 (VOXeu), and many of these will have needed training during this time. 
  • Technology adoption. The average person now owns a smartphone and a laptop or tablet, making them more equipped for online training. 

Advantages of Online Training


Naturally, online training comes with lots of advantages for companies. One of the biggest advantages is that it enables them to save money. Costly face-to-face inductions and training sessions are no longer necessary – not to mention, employees don’t need to travel between different training locations. 

Also, online training affords companies and trainees more flexibility. For example, if you want to hire an employee who lives a 5-hour drive away, you can. This is because they can be trained online instead. 

Drawbacks of Online Training

The main disadvantages of online training are that it’s easier for employees to procrastinate, certain people might feel isolated, and technological problems (such as software crashes) can occur. However, with the right time and effort and the right system, the drawbacks of online training can be resolved very easily. 

Face-to-Face Training: Definition, Advantages, and Drawbacks

What is Face-to-Face Training? 

Face-to-face training is training provided in person, whether it’s one-to-one or in groups. For decades, face-to-face training has been an industry norm. However, since the explosion of the internet, it has slowly started to become less relevant. 

Advantages of Face-to-Face Training

Face-to-face training allows learners to spend time with peers and co-workers as well as instantly raise questions and problems that they have. Also, it makes collaboration with tutors more personal due to in-person contact. 

Drawbacks of Face-to-Face Training

Major drawbacks of face-to-face training include travel costs, geographical restrictions, and the distribution of physical learning resources, such as textbooks and articles. In an age where 61 percent of people want to work from home, these can be major problems. It can make it difficult to organize training, and so many may try to avoid the need to arrange this for their employees unless it is absolutely required, such as annual training to demonstrate capabilities. 

… Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s highly recommended that your company embraces online training, as it’s the future of nearly every industry. However, face-to-face training is still important – particularly in industries such as healthcare – so it’s important that you don’t disregard it entirely. 

Ideally, you should aim to blend the two together to create the perfect hybrid of online training and face-to-face training.


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