The truth is once you’re in a physical place, osmosis tends to happen because you’re sitting near someone. Organizations may need to work harder to ensure their employees do continue to learn from each other.
MORE IDEAS FROM The problem with losing 'osmosis learning'
Observing and chatting with colleagues helps us gain valuable knowledge. Employers recognize how important it is to enable workers to learn from each other, on an ongoing, informal basis.
Popular learning models have tended to suggest that 20% of our learning about a job comes from observing others, although newer research suggests that figure could be even higher.
Of course, everyone needs formalized training when they join a team, on things like software or legal processes. But there are also the less obvious things to learn, like how do you fix that error message that pops up all the time? Who is the most helpful person in the IT team? Is it OK to wander over to the marketing team for a chat? Why do we work with this company but not that one?
This means building a system that really thinks about what knowledge each worker needs for the job they’re doing, who they need to spend time with to gain it, and how that knowledge can be shared even more widely, so everyone benefits – wherever they are working.
As we emerge from the pandemic and begin to adjust to how workplaces have changed, whether by embracing different forms of hybrid or allowing far more staff to work remotely, we will of course depend more on technology to interact with our colleagues.
Recent technological developments have revolutionized how well we can work and also socialize with our colleagues.
An office isn’t really a physical location, it’s a place of connectivity.
It’s widely known the pandemic has made many people re-evaluate their working lives. Employers are well aware, and many are scrambling for new ways to retain employees. One technique for those companies who want to lure their people back is to promise them a more enticing workplace
But people working at home have managed just fine – and remained productive – without free coffee and massages. Many are also less stressed. But the downside of homeworking, for some, has been the isolation, or juggling work around family duties or housemates. So, a tempting office will be one that is an extension of your home, but without the chaos, offering an environment, social atmosphere or technological provision that can’t be found elsewhere.
As the pandemic required employees to work remotely, one of the most striking changes was increased worker's autonomy. Many people became used not to have a boss looking over their shoulder or watching their every move.
A more autonomous environment meant employees could control where they sit or how they prioritise tasks. They could intersperse life activities with job activities. But, as the world returns to the offices, employees are expected to give up some of that control.
If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.
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