It’s difficult to believe that it has been over a year now since the COVID-19 pandemic first reared its head. In response to the crisis, most employees were forced to rely on makeshift offices within their own homes – and largely, this remains the case.
Although in many ways, recent changes have been successful, they have equally been met with a mixed reception. While some businesses have thrived in the remote climate, streamlining their operations and meeting the demand for greater flexibility regarding where and when work gets done more generally, others have struggled to get to grips with the grand WFH experiment. This has meant that in the worst of cases, employees have seen their professional development falling by the wayside, with training schemes cancelled and promotions placed on hold.
Here at Soffos.ai, we have been keen to investigate how organizations and employees have been coping with the large-scale switch to remote work over the past year, as well as their attitudes towards their professional growth throughout the pandemic.
So, we commissioned a survey of 750 business leaders and over 1,200 employees to find out. Here’s a sneak peek of the results…
Firms are split on the future of WFH
First and foremost, our research found that exactly 50% of businesses plan to prioritize digital training over in-person initiatives in the next twelve months. And although many organizations have discovered a multitude of benefits to working from home – such as the opportunity to spend more time with their family – for others, this suggests that the days of remote work might be numbered.
This is not to say that truly beneficial training cannot happen remotely – however, a further look into the results suggests that a significant proportion of businesses have simply been ill-equipped to facilitate effective virtual learning and development (L&D) opportunities over the past year. From communication breakdowns, to a lack of collaboration, a third (33%) of the organizations surveyed said that they ultimately have lacked the tools and knowledge to successfully tailor employee training initiatives in the remote climate.
Investing in the tech of tomorrow, today
So, what next? Positively, our results indicate that organizations are looking to nip this problem in the bud by upping their spend on new technologies that will make remote training a simpler, more effective enterprise in the months and years to come.
In particular, more than half (52%) plan to invest in data analytics so that they can better understand the strengths, weaknesses, and particular needs of their employees. Meanwhile, an additional 43% will dedicate funds into artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver more advanced employee training.
Given that many individuals will be keen to continue with flexible working practices long after we have transitioned out of lockdowns and social distancing measures, this should come as a relief to the employees who feel that their professional development has faltered throughout the pandemic.
Away from traditional in-person incentives and clunky eLearning software, it is great to see that businesses are planning to become better acquainted with next-gen learning solutions that will not only deliver greater results, but also increase flexibility for employees. Solutions like Soffos will provide users with the potential to learn wherever and whenever suits them best, and should make the process of upskilling a lifelong pursuit, rather than just a bi-annual tick-box exercise as was often the case previously.
Beyond just a stopgap solution, our corporate KnowledgeBot will make employee training a more engaging endeavour, ensuring that materials and exercises are customized to the individual employee. From allowing users to ask questions on-demand and generating quizzes to test their knowledge, to providing point-by-point explanations of complex concepts, individuals will have a firmer grasp on their career development than ever before.
Our latest research will soon be published, so keep your eyes peeled to delve further into the unique insights that we have uncovered.
Or, if you would like to take a look behind the scenes, to see how Soffos.ai will keep businesses and employees on track with their L&D post-pandemic, please visit our website and watch our explainer videos here.