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The long term impact of COVID on working and learning

"I can no longer work from home in the home office I worked in during lockdown." 

This was an interesting insight we had in a learning session with one of our customers. We were learning about collaboration in Microsoft Teams. During one of the breakout sessions, someone said how much they struggle with using Teams because of the negative connotations with lockdown.

This was reinforced by another colleague, who went on to say she could no longer even work in the same physical space. Such were the negative associations with those difficult weeks and months. 

As we reviewed the session later, these discussions really made us think.

How much do we acknowledge the impact of COVID and lockdown on us as a society? What does that mean for people that we are working with? And how does that affect how they learn? 

Most importantly for us, what do we need to do to adapt how we guide and support people in their learning, in a post-COVID world?


How can learning facilitators support people in a post COVID world?


In this excellent article How to heal the 'mass trauma' of Covid-19 - BBC Future, Ed Prideaux concludes:

Covid-19 is a mass trauma the likes of which we've never seen before. Our most complex social extensions, and the building-blocks of our personal realities, have been coloured indelibly. 


So, what does that mean for the people we are working with, and how does that affect how they learn? As Change Practitioners and leaders in Microsoft 365 adoption, Hable understands what helps and hinders people’s learning.


1. Take the time to understand

We know that we must take time to understand where people are, and where they want to be, before any meaningful learning can take place. As educationalists and facilitators, we understand the science of learning, particularly in relation to adult learning or andragogy (see Knowle’s theory of how adults learn What is Adult Learning Theory - LearnUpon).  


2. Acknowledge the negative associations 

Simply acknowledging that resistance to learning might come from negative associations may be sufficient for some. Taking time and space in our sessions to recognise any barriers to learning is an important first step.


3. Go back to basics

For others, it may be necessary to backtrack and return to some of the basics of the technology that weren’t properly learned the first time around, due to tech being rushed out as COVID swept the globe. It's important to do this without any judgement, or giving them the sense that they 'should know this by now.'


4. Consider the correct cognitive load

We also need to be sensitive to get the correct cognitive load, the balance between the demand of the learning with the available resources, both practical and emotional. Too high and learners become overwhelmed and disengaged, too low and they won’t be challenged. 


5. Remember, we're all people

And for everyone, it’s perhaps a helpful reminder that the people we work with, whose lives we coincide with on screen or sometimes in person, are real people who have been through a lot and may just need a bit more time and understanding before they can take in new information and adopt new ways of working.   



Learning that caters to every need  

Learning shouldn't be a 'one size fits all' approach. People learn in countless different ways. But they also have different needs that need supporting and accommodating. At Hable, we get this. And we ensure our learning sessions and programmes cater to all of them. 

For meaningful learning that understands your people - get in touch with Hable today.

Start a conversation today.