2020 was a chaotic year whose effects on corporate learning and development will be felt for years to come. Entering 2020, trends like digital transformation were shifting patterns in established industries and creating entirely new businesses. The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic disrupted work patterns, consumer behaviors, and supply chains, and provided the impetus for companies to accelerate digital transformation as one of the measures to cope with the disruption.
Work-from-home created a new division of jobs between “essential work” and “nonessential work.” Originally meant to distinguish between jobs that had to be done in person and jobs that could be done remotely, “essential” came to have a more literal meaning, as companies realized that work-from-home meant that some types of jobs required fewer workers, or none at all.
Had the COVID-19 pandemic struck a decade earlier, far more workers would have fallen into the “essential” category because their jobs would have required them to show up in person. Because it went global in early 2020, there was already an infrastructure and ecosystem to support remote work for most office workers.
However, that didn’t mean that most companies were prepared to shift the bulk of their white-collar workforces to work-from-home. When the pandemic and the associated lockdowns forced them to make that shift, it created short-term disruptions in getting workers online and productive, and it created long-term disruptions in the fundamental business models of many companies. These disruptions made user training, reskilling, and upskilling more important than ever.
For an in-depth look at these trends in corporate upskilling and reskilling and how they will play out beyond 2021, download the white paper, “Upskilling and Reskilling in 2021 - A Global Overview.”