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A new “normal” is forming, but what will the lasting impact be, particularly on learning?

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Whilst parts of the world such as South Asia are still experiencing the worst of COVID-19, in other Asian countries, where the pandemic has been more carefully controlled, a new “normal” is already forming.

Our friends in China confirm that the pandemic has required even the most senior executives to embrace technology and be more open to virtual learning, as well as become more flexible and more trusting of their employees.

With the return of some face-to-face learning, there is however a danger that this will be restricted to the most senior employees when arguably it is the more junior ones who would benefit as much, if not more. Restricting face-to-face experiences to the most senior not only risks charges of elitism and unfairness, but also ignores the importance to the business of people at all levels forging new relationships (or consolidating those formed virtually).

Inclusion and fairness are issues concerning Lynda Gratton in this month’s Harvard Business Review. As she points out, there is a danger that new ways of working and approaches to training and development will be decided by those at the top to suit them, rather than to suit all employees. We may look back on 2021 and see that those companies, for example, that mandate all employees to return 100% to the office, were the dinosaurs that became extinct as more agile and flexible companies win the ongoing war for talent.

The positive effect of COVID has been the development of new and better digital tools and platforms and people’s willingness to embrace them. There are many advantages of virtual learning compared to face-to-face, beyond the impact on cost and carbon footprint. Our client, CMS, has proved that engagement can still be extremely high in a more virtual world. Learning can be intense and engaging and good relationships formed. Simulations are a major contributory factor to this. If we emerge from this crisis more open to new ways of doing things and more flexible, it will have a lasting effect.

–   Jonathan Knight, CEO

Ososim is a global learning technology company that helps organisations to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Working in over 85 countries with major global companies, as well as government institutions, leading business schools and non-profit organisations, our digital learning experiences enable individuals, teams and companies to perform at their best.

To find out more about our virtual business simulations please contact us on +44 (0)1223 421 034 or email