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Ruth Williams DipCAM FCIM

10 Things we've Learnt About our Learners in Lockdown

From online working to learning a musical instrument - we surveyed 200 Health and Safety professionals from our customer community to find out how they have been building their skills through the past 12-months through lockdown. Here’s a look at the top 10 discoveries from the survey.

March 2021

From online working to learning a musical instrument, from indoor gardening to baking - we surveyed 200 Health and Safety professionals from our customer community to find out how they have been building their skills through the past 12-months through lockdown. Here’s a look at the top 10 discoveries from the survey.

1. 63% of you have either learnt a new skill or are in the midst of learning a new skills.

While many you  were taking the opportunity to throw yourselves into learning a new skill, we discovered that almost 31% of you were still on the cusp of commitment. 6% of you had no intention of learning a new skill with 3% of you reporting that you were too busy handling other colleagues work to even contemplate taking on anything new.


2. When it comes to learning new skills, 40% of you took the opportunity to learn a work-related skill.

Out of the 200 responses, there was clearly a trend in the types of new skill training undertaken. Here are the big trend hitters:

  • Effective use of Microsoft Teams and/or Zoom platform software
  • Leadership skills
  • Managing stress and wellbeing of employees
  • COVID Control measures
  • Risk assessment, train the trainer
  • Work/Life balance awareness

3. A whopping 71% of you tackled a non-work-related skill.

For those of you brave enough to have a go at learning a non-work-related skill, the variety of new skills was indeed vast. Here’s a list of the top trending activities.

  • Virtual cookery classes
  • Meditation for beginners
  • Bicycle repair
  • Indoor gardening
  • Guitar course for beginners
  • Drawing and Painting
  • DIY at home
  • Car maintenance and mechanics

4. When it comes to online learning, 83% of you had previous taken an online course pre-COVID

In terms of demographic, those of you aged between 25-34 were amongst the strongest cohort to have previously taken part in an online training class;  with those of you aged between 35-44  less likely to have taken part pre-pandemic.

5. 88% of you had a very positive experience in relation to all the online learning you had taken part in

Here’s the most frequent sentiment harvested from the survey:
“Great way of balancing work and home study”
“Its convenient especially as COVID travel restrictions are in place”
“Online learning is flexible and adaptable around commitments”
“A safer way to learn without travel”
“More productive use of time without travelling to a venue, catching a plane or staying at a hotel”
“The pace of the course can be self-determined and that’s a really bonus if you are juggling work, home and home schooling”

6. 80% of you were happy to share advice to fellow professionals on how to get the best out of an online learning course

Here’s a sample of that advice:

“Look for a quiet environment or purchase noise cancelling headphones”

“Get into the habit of scheduling time every week to dedicate yourself to learning, and don’t skip it even if you want too”

“Get in touch with the learning provider if you hit a wall in the course and you want to check your understanding. They are always there to help”

“Make sure you choose a course where the delivery is first-class”

“Try connecting through social with other people doing the same course. This will help you stay motivated”

7.  62% of you said that if there was another wave of the virus later in 2021, you or your organization would do things differently, so you were better prepared for the disruption.

These things included:

  • A more robust business continuity plan
  • Better stocks of hygiene wipes and hand sanitizers
  • Install an online telephone system
  • Invest in IT for home workers
  • Implement better COVID control measures
  • A better home working policy and process across the business.

8. 55% of you were working from home, whilst 45% of you had alternative arrangements.

Just over half of you were continuing your daily tasks from home. 10% of you were furloughed and  5% were self-isolating. In the detail of the survey, 20% of you described yourself as a key or critical worker or that your job role was already remote, working at multiple facilities.

9. 46% of you thought that they would ‘very likely’ continue some working from home going forward, once the COVID-19 crisis has passed?

Surprisingly, less than 15% of you though it was unlikely or very unlikely that they would be working from home in the future.


10. Finally, everyone who took part in the survey had started a new activities such as: running, virtual pub quizzes or watching instructional videos.

  • 87% of you walked more
  • 65% of you worked with a virtual trainer or a pre-recorded class
  • 55% took up cycling, with 7% of you purchasing a new bike
  • 31% of you tried a virtual quiz
  • 29% of you attended a virtual event
  • 23% of you added a new dish to your menu
  • 8% of you baked a cake for the first time – we hope it turned out nice.

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