The Covid-19 pandemic has plunged working life into a virtual space. Virtual learning and development (L&D) programmes were on the rise before Covid-19 struck, and according to recent research by the Fosway Group, in response to the current situation, 71% of L&D professionals have experienced an increased demand for digital learning from employees .
Organisations today are having to accelerate a shift from face-to-face to virtual delivery of L&D programmes - they cannot put capability building on hold.
Continuing to deliver engaging virtual L&D can help maintain the momentum and benefits of workplace L&D, as well as build a new foundation for effective virtual programmes [2,3]. The key word here is engaging. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is a newly coined phrase that resonates with many employees who are now working and socialising remotely. Articles on this topic explain how virtual interactions can be taxing on the brain as they force us to process information in a different way to how we would in an in-person conversation [4,5].
Therefore, how can we ensure that L&D programmes being delivered in today’s context are engaging and valuable for employees? Based on our experience of delivering L&D virtually, here are our key considerations for the current context and beyond.
Reframing the virtual nature of work today as an opportunity to innovate and expand L&D initiatives - and develop stronger learning capabilities - could stand as a positive long-term outcome for organisations from this difficult period.
 Fosslien, L. & West Duffy, M. (April, 2020). How to Comat Zoom Fatigue. Harvard Business Review. Accessed: https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-combat-zoom-fatigue.
 Fosway Group. (2020). Covid-19 L&D Research: First Take. Accessed: https://www.fosway.com/research/next-gen-learning/covid19-research/.
 Kshirsagar, A. et al. (March, 2020). Adapting workplace learning in the time of coronavirus. McKinsey Accelerate. Accessed: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-accelerate/our-insights/adapting-workplace-learning-in-the-time-of-coronavirus.
 Peshkam, A. & Petriglieri, G. (April, 2020). Keep Your People Learning When You Go Virtual. Harvard Business Review. Accessed: https://hbr.org/2020/04/keep-your-people-learning-when-you-go-virtual.
 Sklar, J. (April, 2020). ‘Zoom fatigue’ is taking the brain. Here’s why that happens. National Geographic. Accessed: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/science-and-technology/2020/04/zoom-fatigue-is-taxing-the-brain-heres-why-that-happens.