3 Ways COVID-19 has changed the training landscape forever

27th January 2021

Amy Brierley

By now, we’re all adjusting to the new normal, brought on by the global pandemic that began in March 2020. Now, 8 months later, we’ve made some considerable changes to our everyday life and the way we learn is no exception. A study from MRSL suggests that 79% of individuals say COVID-19 completely or partially interrupted their employee training, but just how much of an effect has the pandemic had on how we skill-build?

1. The move to online learning

With little to no face-to-face training able to take place, and extra restrictions on class sizes, employers have had to get creative with how they train their employees. In the UK, searches for terms such as online learning and e-learning have increased up to fourfold between March and April 2020 as strict lockdown rules came into force (Source: OECD), reflecting an investment into new ways of training.

2. A distributed workforce

Having a distributed workforce has proven favourable by many companies as 52% of employees have been more productive while working from home (Source: Simplilearn). Many companies are unlikely to make the return back to the office, with social-media giant, Twitter, paving the way for a distributed workforce as they made the announcement in May 2020 that employees will have the choice of working from home, forever.

So, if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen. @Jenchristhr

Jennifer Christie, Chief HR Officer at Twitter

3. Adoption of virtual technologies

For those with hands-on roles, training without physical resource and low levels of interaction, present unique challenges. This solution to which, lies in the growing demand for Augmented, Virtual, and Interactive training applications that enable the simulation of real-world situations, offering employees the ability to undertake training and gain experience in a controlled environment.

Above Left: Using virtual reality to train / Credits: Canva. Right: Typical VR headset / Credits: Canva

AR & VR training has also been linked to the development of muscle memory in specific tasks for trainees (Source: Springer), meaning that not only is the adoption suited to the need for remote training, but it also increases performance levels, while allowing you to monitor progress. It’s truly no wonder that PwC predict that nearly 23.5 million jobs worldwide will be using AR and VR by 2030 for training.

Conclusion

It’s clear to see that the training landscape continues to evolve and adapt to a world quarantined. Sam Burgess, CEO of SamsonVT had this to say:

Whether you are looking at university education or technical training, how we learn is continuing to change. Mainstream education is moving to mass remote learning and knowledge on demand, changing how information is accessed and training is delivered.

Sam Burgess, CEO at SamsonVT

Global pandemic or not, the way we learn is changing.

How has your ability to train been affected since the beginning of COVID-19? Do you feel comfortable making the transition to virtual learning?

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