The situation on the labour market in recent months has been devastating. We find ourselves faced with new challenges. Some could see the current situation as an incentive to operate in new ways, find new system priorities and build foundations for the future of their career. One thing is for sure, though – our lives and the way we do business have changed, because the future looks uncertain in all respects.

As a result of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, guidance centres have also changed the way we work. Communication with guidance recipients was carried out by phone, email, online portals and audio conferencing. In the situation at hand, many of them relied on virtual collaboration and video conferencing instead of meetings in person. All things considered, it worked surprisingly well.

Both the positive and the negative aspects of online guidance are presented below.


  • Online guidance is easy and accessible to all who want to use it. We know how important the rapid flow of information from sender to recipient is, and this requirement was fulfilled. It is also convenient for people living in the countryside or in remote areas without guidance services, for people with reduced mobility and for others.
  • People who dislike the traditional guidance model and prefer the online version may find it easier to talk about their challenges in this way.
  • Online guidance can also be effective in eliminating social stigma. It gives people who do not feel comfortable with personal guidance a chance to access the various services privately, without having to visit a guidance centre. If guidance recipients make a “call” from their home via computer or phone, guidance can assume a completely different role. The recipients may feel less stigmatised. There is no need to worry about being seen in the institution’s hallways by employees, other guidance recipients or anyone else. Online guidance offers a certain level of anonymity that can reduce such social stigma and encourage recipients to seek help, as otherwise they would be reluctant.
  • Various methods of communication. Most of the communication on the internet is in writing. In online guidance, where the most common method of communication is email or chats by phone or video conferencing, both the guidance provider and the recipient can pay attention to communication and think about their thoughts and feelings before expressing them. This can be a particularly convenient way of communicating for those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.

During the epidemic, I took part in e-guidance provided by the Novo mesto guidance centre. I used this time for learning and education, because I was trying to learn as much Slovenian as possible. At first it was a very unusual feeling and I was concerned, not because I did not know how to use Skype or start a video chat with a counsellor, but because I was further overwhelmed by the fear of mutual communication, firstly because it was in a language I do not know very well, and secondly because I was used to personal contact before. I find personal guidance much better; it is easier to ask about any words I do not know and it makes me feel better.

Čarli T.


Are there any limitations or risks related to remotely-provided services? Of course.

Remote guidance might not be appropriate or the best choice of service for several reasons.

  • Major interruptions in communication services (technical problems) or lack of access to communication technology or problems with it. It is not unusual for computers or internet connections to fail. People in remote areas may have a poor connection; there is a possibility of network connection interruption.
  • Lack of ICT knowledge; in particular when the set up of communication requires installing and learning about new software and/or hardware, this may present a problem for guidance recipients.
  • Absence of essential verbal and non-verbal cues. Traditional guidance relies heavily on various characteristics of body language as a form of communication and to provide insight into the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of guidance recipients. In remote guidance services, characteristics such as the tone of voice, facial expressions, body language and eye contact are noticeable only to a limited extent. This can negatively impact the results of guidance, as counsellors do not have the opportunity to observe.
  • Need for services of higher intensity. Guidance recipients face a markedly weaker sense of maintaining confidentiality and security.
  • Personal well-being. Online guidance refers to guidance via the internet and involves e.g. email, chat rooms and webcams. It is quite possible that both the guidance recipient and the counsellor feel embarrassed or uneasy in the situation.

Ana Marija Blažič (, Novo mesto AEC

© 2017-2024 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

​The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Education.

ISSN 2630-2926

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education
Ministry of Education

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc and dr Tanja Rupnik Vec | Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W:

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